Welcome to the Soup Kitchen!
Here at Strawberrysoup, we are excited to be kicking off the first in our series of ‘labs’ content. For those not familiar with the concept, ‘labs’ is where we showcase some of our exciting behind-the-scenes developments and inspire the team to create something amazing! A virtual lab, if you will.
Labs is all about pushing the boundaries of digital web innovation and testing concept ideas. This often leads to wider creative and development-led solutions allowing businesses and creative junkies to be inspired by the capabilities of our team and digital in general.
The #Soupkitchen is where we cook up our awesome creative ideas spliced with some tasty coding to demonstrate some of the uber-cool stuff we can deliver!
For our first week in the kitchen, we decided to look into the use of Avatars and how we could develop a potential team page for a new Strawberrysoup website.
Avatar – An icon or figure representing a particular person in a computer game, Internet forum, etc.
We made two teams and got to work creating some new avatar concept ideas. Below are the results of our experiment:
The A Team
Harry Wiseman – Developer
Jez Emery – Developer
Sam Stanistreet – Designer
For our idea we wanted to avoid the conventional team pages we are so used to creating or seeing online. Whilst they are perfectly functional, this experiment is about testing the capabilities of what can be achieved and digressing from the norm. Rather than a grid of people, we wanted to give the page some simple interaction and in some way make full use of the avatars. We explored a few ways to create our avatars, eventually deciding to illustrate our side portraits which contained a personalised image.
The idea was to split the screen in half and display the avatars on one side and the information on the other.
The final result isn’t quite the end product we had hoped for, but given more time manipulating SVGs and more time to implement the parallax background content, you can see what we were trying to achieve. We have exposed ourselves to a new creative way to develop avatars.
The B Team
Adam Allaway – Designer
Calum Butchart – Developer
Mike Skinner – Developer
Once the teams were decided, myself (Adam) and my fellow members of The B Team put our heads together and prepared ourselves for the avalanche of groundbreaking ideas that would surely follow. Surely enough, as night becomes day, we listed a few ideas and technical innovations that we’ve been wanting to explore for a while and subsequently crafted them into a what we believed was a round-winning idea. Quite how far we would go off-piste with this idea was as yet unbeknownst to us.
Once the simple sprite functionality was created, it was decided that the Avatars should be added into a larger scene consisting of an iMac screen on a work desk. The inclusion of the screen allowing for an area in which profile data could be shown when any Avatar was selected (the idea of a future team page was still alive and kicking at this point).
What happened next is all somewhat of a blur, that may or may not have been induced by the odd bottle of Strawberrysoup sponsored Friday Peroni. However, this wealth of creativity occurred, our simple team concept page soon mutated into a curiosity containing a selection of hidden Easter eggs, rather than simple team member profiles. These hidden extras consisted of amusing entrance animations, a destructive Monty Python foot, theme music and most perhaps most bizarrely a retro pong game featuring my head as the ball. The latter stemming from an idea that mini games could be created for every staff member based on their personality. Quite what pong says about me, I don’t know.
Alas, like all great things, our collaboration had to end with the project presentation of the work we produced to date and despite our reservations on its overall worth, we were lucky enough to be awarded the first of the #SoupKitchen winning team statues. All of which now sit proudly on our desks as a reminder that in the #SoupKitchen, the end result doesn’t always need to make sense or produce viable commercial products, but what that is truly important are the concepts of creativity, collaboration, communication and the learning of new skills. Concepts that, when all is said and done, our crazy little project contains in abundance.
Until next time, we hope you enjoyed our first instalment of the #SoupKitchen – if there is anything you’d like to see us manipulate in the Soup Kitchen (within reason!), tweet us @strawberrysoup using the hashtag #SoupKitchen and we will see what we can knock up!