Summer 2019

  • CSS3
  • Django
  • HTML5
  • JavaScript

Having worked with SharpEnd on a couple of great projects in 2017 and 2018, I was delighted to be approached to work on a rebuild of their own agency website for 2019.

The team’s ambition had outgrown their previous WordPress-based website so a fresh start with a clean and clearly organised CMS was a key provision of their brief. Their awesome designers supplied a comprehensive set of layouts across a range of breakpoints, which detailed their aims for a media-rich set of templates to showcase the SharpEnd team and their work, including high-quality imagery, video and animations.

Laptop illustration
The SharpEnd homepage, desktop view

This preview is scrollable!

The SharpEnd homepage, desktop view

I decided on Django as my preferred platform for this project, and my recent work structuring client-facing CMSes based on Craft prompted me to revisit some basic assumptions about how I should go about configuring Django’s admin CMS. When using Craft I was particularly impressed by the concept of Singles (one-off data models for individual pages) and I discovered a third-party library that would allow me to easly implement this pattern in Django, for sensible CMS support of one-off pages like the site's homepage, About page, etc.

Browser bar illustration

The SharpEnd designers wanted to employ animated graphics in various places around the site to illustrate concepts around their brand and their work. Having previously used Airbnb’s Lottie library to provide an SVG-based playback of AfterEffects animations, this seemed like an ideal solution, so I worked up an integration that would allow the SharpEnd team to upload JSON animation data from AE straight into the CMS (with an option for a portrait-orientation alternative animation for mobile devices – see above and left). This adds an engaging alternative to static images and text while still ensuring end-user control of the content (and the flexibility that brings) into the future.

Mobile device illustration

This preview is scrollable!

The end result is a fully CMSable, highly responsive and super engaging showcase of SharpEnd’s portfolio, talents and ethos, which I hope will prove to be useful and extensible for some time to come. Intended to be handed over to SharpEnd’s own tech staff, the site’s code is extensively documented and they are already successfully adding their own features to the work I delivered. We have a great ongoing relationship and I’m due to return shortly to add a new Careers section to the site to increase its value further.