Hello Monday/DEPT

Virgin Galactic

Anyone can become an astronaut
Travel & Lifestyle / Webby and People's Voice Winner
Hello Monday/DEPT

Travel & Lifestyle

Our goal was to create a digital experience that would truly capture the essence of space travel Katelind Root - Senior Producer


Q: Can you briefly describe your project and the concept behind it?

A: To generate excitement for Virgin Galactic’s first commercial spaceflight, we created a website experience that communicates the excitement of space travel and serves as a tool for those interested in exploring space from the ground or sky. A key driver of our design process was the storytelling technique ‘show don’t tell’. We focused on using video, audio, and other immersive elements over long-form copy or sales-y/promotional corporate content.

Q: Once you settled on your idea, what influenced your decision on the chosen technical approach? How did it differ or go beyond approaches you’ve taken in the past?

A: We chose a technical approach that enabled us to quickly iterate while maintaining complete control over the majority of the code. Due to the tight deadline, we avoided using complex tools, frameworks, or large external libraries. In fact, we utilized only a few essential dependencies, which also had the added advantage of keeping the website's final bundle size small and lightweight.

Q: What were some of your biggest learning and takeaways from this project?

A: Content is key! Without the library of high-quality video and photo assets from Virgin Galactic, we would have had to create a lot of bespoke modules, renders, and illustrations, which would have taken up valuable time before launch. Time we really didn’t have.

Q: What web technologies, approaches, tools, or resources did you use to develop this experience (WordPress, headless, AI, Sublime Text, HTML5, Adobe XD, etc)?

A: For this project, we employed a straightforward development stack. The website was developed using 11ty, a static site generator. We opted for vanilla JavaScript to retain full control over JavaScript execution and reduce the code delivered to the client. The build process included PostCSS and ESBuild for transforming and minifying SCSS and TypeScript. By hosting the website on the edge with Cloudflare Pages, we achieved fast loading times.

Q: How did you reach a good balance of your own creative ideas and technical capabilities with a fair representation of the client’s brand?

A: Our goal was to create a digital experience that would truly capture the essence of space travel. To achieve this, we focused on showcasing the remarkable images, audio recordings, and videos to which we had access. We opted for a straightforward approach to the technology, allowing us to allocate ample space for the content provided by Virgin Galactic. We aimed to prevent the technology from diverting attention away from the content itself.
© 2024 The Webby Awards. All rights reserved.