Script explorers use flower power

Opinion

Script explorers use flower power

Peter Kellett is always striving to find new ways of presenting online information. He had the perfect opportunity to hone his talents when he was asked to take an existing art exhibition and put it online, writes Roisin Woolnough.

The Web designers got a chance to innovate when they were asked to put an art exhibition onto the Internet

The exhibition was a collaboration between two artists - Martin Grimes and Michael McGinley - and writer Malcolm Evans, who work together under the name Since1963. The inspiration for the work came from the objects and re-located rubble of a collapsed mill, a portrait of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and an edition of a Maurice Blanchot 1964 essay entitled The Conquest of Space.

Fortunately, both Kellett and Steve Jones, his fellow designer at e-commerce specialist Wax Digital, were able to draw on their experience as artists. Kellett says this came in useful when deciding how the pieces could be displayed to retain the artists' message while making the online exhibition different from the physical one.

"We aimed to take the essence of Since1963's ideas into a digital space that could both stand alone and accompany the exhibition," says Kellett.

The site is written with a bit of standard HTML and Java scripting but the greater part of the site has been created in Flash, "an excellent Web design tool that allows us to create fully interactive movies for the Web," according to Kellett.

"Implementing our own creative use of action scripting - a language that shares a lot of attributes with languages such as Lingo, and VB Script - enabled us to create the impression of exploration for the user, without the constraints of the typical Web site interface," he explains.

Everything is arranged in a simple "flower head" navigation system whereby the user ends up at the same point whichever route they take.

Kellett says he was delighted to work on a project that allowed him to experiment with user interface and architecture design. "This kind of experience is very valuable in feeding back into our more commercial work by giving us the opportunity to explore. This informs the way we look at the developments of very business driven sites," he says.

Curriculum vitae

Name: Peter Kellett

Age: 27

Job title: designer

Qualifications: BA(hons) in fine art, post-graduate degree in new media technology

IT skills: Flash, HTML, Java, Photoshop and Illustrator

Hobbies: painting and walking

Favourite pub: Llyn-y-mawn, North Wales

Favourite film: The Killing by Stanley Kubrick

Favourite book: Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Kellett on Kellett: creative, ambitious, forward-thinking

E is for excellence

Have you developed or designed an innovative e-commerce project? If so,e-mail us at cwxtra@rbi.co.uk

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This was first published in March 2001

 

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