Web Development for Omnifilm
What a start in 1979, producing natural history documentaries and award-winning short films, Omnifilm Entertainment has grown to become an independent, full-service, content company that is known for diverse and widely-acclaimed television.
Storytelling on the web
Omnifilm Entertainment contacted us interested in our approach to unveiling a company’s core through an insightful web experience and brand identity. They felt that their website neither fully embodied the Omnifilm brand nor properly told their story. Most importantly, the difference between their pitch presentations and the website was being noticed by their customers, thus creating unwanted dissonance.
From the get-go, we envisioned telling a broader story of not just the diversity of their portfolio, but what a powerful independent production house Omnifilm actually is, how they excel at what they do and the culture of the company itself. There was, however, a critical obstacle—Omnifilm needed the website in time for the imminent conference happening in LA.
A step-by-step approach
Omnifilm had determination and an immediate need to produce the best possible experience within the given timeframe. Our initial meetings were supercharged—we were swiftly sketching out possible directions, exploring advantages and disadvantages of each. In the end, we agreed on approaching their web experience like a product in a lean startup environment—we would build an MVP.
The good news was, after nearly 40 years in business, Omnifilm had an immaculate knowledge of their industry and target audience. They couldn’t wait to refresh their messaging, align it with their brand and go out into the world to see how it would land with their prospects—the initial build of the website would focus specifically on acquisition executives at broadcasting corporations.
Making a first impression
Having a specific audience in mind streamlined the design process. We focused on essentials—information visitors absolutely have to see. First impression was crucial, as most prospects would visit the website only once, and it had to impress them enough to pick up the phone.
Our preliminary ideas for MVP have evolved into a more concrete form of a highly interactive landing page, with a possible addition of a few modular pop-ups to avoid content overload. We were still facing the challenge of what not to include. With a company as rich in history as Omnifilm, you want to tell the whole story, you want to go into specifics of their award-winning shows, you want to introduce the immense experience in the industry that each of the partners has.
In an effort to pack the most impact in the least amount of space, we decided to emphasize videography and imagery to highlight the capabilities of Omnifilm as a production company. The experience would start with a reel of their best show clips. Then visitors would land on a one-page website with defined sections and content presented in clear hierarchy, keeping it highly scannable. A prospect could quickly scroll through, see all sections at a glance and dive into the one of particular interest.
Overcoming space constraints
The challenge of excluding content got even more difficult while designing the mobile version of the website. Yes, this time around, based on the historical device-usage data, we dove into desktop first. We couldn’t just make the website responsive. The amount of content on this one page would render it unusable, making users scroll for… a long time.
Instead, we changed the way mobile visitors interact with the website components. For example, with no hover state on mobile, visitors would tap on projects to learn more. Or to avoid stacking 16 production thumbnails on top of each other, we’ve implemented horizontal scrolling.
The new Omnifilm website was successfully launched just in time for the conference in LA. We had a brief celebration and got right back to work—this was in fact just the beginning of our relationship.
We realized the potential of growing the online presence of Omnifilm and telling their story in all of its complexity. In the next iterations of their web experience, we will focus heavily on SEO, for example, as we develop pages for every production. We will unravel the full history of the company, combining their evolved language and aesthetics. And more. Stay put.