I hope you downloaded the Adobe Inspire Magazine for iPad app to read the August 2012 issue. If not, make sure you grab the free app so you can read my article and all the others on your high-resolution iPad.
For me, October is the most exciting month of the year for digital. There's always a plethora of amazing work, and I think the reason is that creatives are fresh and invigorated after their summer break. As you may know, I didn't holiday for 10 years while I was crazily building up FWA. Now that I am in my early forties and have been married for just over a year, I holiday frequently, and I can totally understand how important it is to your creative mind. Many agencies close down for weeks in the summer months, and if you are lucky enough to work for one of them, then maybe it's your work I am talking about in this article.
Recently, I wondered what had happened to the movie industry and the plethora of websites I saw in the mid-1990s. Then, to my delight, came Paranorman — one of the best movie sites I have ever seen. This very refreshing site works perfectly over all devices. It has loads to explore, and it features amazing imagery. People used to say movie sites were all the same and boring. I think it will take a while to get bored with beauties like this.
This next-generation project that merges the boundaries of online and offline is an example of what the future of digital could hold. Here's your chance to experience five experiments at the Science Museum in London in real time while collaborating with people from all over the world. You can choose to interact with the actual experiments, just as if you were visiting the museum in person. Or you can participate in the browser version of the experiment while collaborating with other virtual visitors. I am sure more projects like this will pop up all over the world. If you hear about one, make sure you check out both the in-person experience and the browser version to see what everyone is talking about.
This site offers slick responsive design with one of the first — and certainly one of the best — examples of drag and drop with HTML. This 3D environment enables you to pick up and place the Beoplay TV in a variety of different scenarios, while also customizing the speaker color and set itself. You can scroll to navigate or use the onscreen menu dots. The subtle animations and pure quality of this site sit perfectly with the Bang & Olufsen brand.
First of all, this site is in Indonesia, so if you struggle with the language, you can take a look at the impressive case study. The idea of this project is to take a very traditional story and make it an interactive masterpiece. Using a number of pop-up windows, you see levels of creativity you often only saw with Flash technology, so this is definitely a future-thinking project. The attention to detail is obvious here as well as the love the teams put into such an impressive project.
When this site first launched, it spread quickly via social networks — and deservedly so. This agency site shows ways of navigating that users haven't been accustomed to via HTML. Drag to navigate and explore the seamless video integration and portfolio of works. This is worthy of being called the agency site of the future. It excites me to say that, especially after 18 months of static and, can I say, boring and too-safe agency sites. It's sites like this one that get people noticed and clients pouring in.
This is another charming journey as you follow an e-mail and see what happens when you send a message via Gmail. Packed with wonderful animations and characters along the way, this site offers an unforgettable experience and a very informative one as well. You will even find out how Google minimizes the impact of e-mail on the environment.
Again, this is a project that works over all devices. As you can tell, this is definitely the way forward for many projects. This site explores the stories of struggling New Orleans residents who are still rebuilding their community after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The often-haunting soundtrack and imagery make for a sobering and thought-provoking experience. The full-screen photography and quotations alone are powerful in their own right.
When you consider how huge mobile is, how often are you excited about a new project like you were back in 2000 when Flash was taking off? Personally, I am often disappointed with mobile projects, but when I saw this interactive music video made specifically for mobile, the hair stood up on the back of my neck because I could finally see the breakthrough I have been waiting for. This works through your mobile browser, Chrome, and gives you a glimpse of the direction things will start to take in the mobile browser experience arena.
I am a massive fan of experimental work, whatever the discipline. Here is a real-time ASCII art conversion of Google Street View panoramas entirely in WebGL. Put in your own location to see your own street in glorious ASCII art. It always amazes me what people come up with, and I never imagined I would be able to see my own house in this way. Basically, if it's on Google Street View, you will be able to search for it and view it in ASCII art.
Without a doubt, creativity is picking up the pace again. I am delighted to say it. There has been a wobble for the last 18 months as many agencies and clients struggled to understand what direction the digital world was taking. Some were even frightened by what lay ahead. Now, it's clear to see that agencies are becoming great at educating their clients once again and delivering the best projects for them and their target audiences. What makes me most pleased is that the innovative ideas that have brought online experiences this far have not been sacrificed.
Rob Ford founded The FWA Network in May 2000. Since then, the network has received more than 150 million visits. The FWA Network showcases projects that use cutting-edge technology for desktop, mobile, and offline experiences, together with showcases for photography as well as video. Rob is also the author of three best-selling books on web and mobile. Check out The FWA Network.