To make this incubator a destination for startups, we put it on the map.
The Washington Interactive Network (WIN) is a Seattle-based non-profit organization with a mission to promote, nurture and grow the interactive media industry in the state of Washington. At the center of the network is their signature business accelerator, The Reactor. This tech incubator focuses on startup companies in the app development and gaming space and is funded by WIN. Its primary purpose was to become a destination for the interactive community, create a critical mass of talent within and around the incubator, and work to enhance Seattle’s reputation as a destination community for the interactive media industry and its talent.
When we met WIN they’d just launched a brand new website, but unfortunately had a bit of buyer’s remorse. While the new site did a nice job of providing an overview of WIN, it under delivered on The Reactor, which was their flagship. And at this point, they weren’t quite sure what they needed to do.
We conducted a small Discovery and found that to varying degrees the site failed to meet the different needs of their primary stakeholders – the interactive community, tenants in The Reactor and the city of Seattle. The upside was they had lots of great content to offer, a team of high-profile mentors, they put on a series of interesting events and were well positioned as thought leaders in the community. Diagramming out where, when and how the various stakeholders intersected with each other across the landscape helped us better understand what the real problems were that needed to be addressed.
We started by creating a visual identification system just for The Reactor. The logo design was simple and modern with a delightful animation effect added for fun. We also established a bright color palette for the incubator that reflected the electric scene surrounding the interactive media industry, and then paired it with black and white photos of the Seattle skyline and community. Put together, the imagery created an energetic and vibrant foundation to relay content.
Designing a separate site for The Reactor, our team sought to create an experience that was quick and efficient to match the fast-paced startup world. The UX component was extremely important. We designed flows that helped facilitate related interests, created a custom “immersive search” feature, and, used a simple one-column design for authored content that reacted seamlessly in any browser environment from mobile to a widescreen television. On the technical side, we used “AJAX loading” to reduce the number of page requests which resulted in a smoother browsing experience for the user with faster loading, elegant design, and electrifying content. The result is a website tailored directly towards a complex niche in a simple, electric, and reactive way.
Our primary goal was to help WIN create an environment that felt like home for the interactive community. One where interactive media startups could get an accelerated start and grow quickly. Secondly, was to draw attention to Seattle as the hub of a vibrant and growing interactive media community and a global leader of development and IP creation.