One of my first projects when I joined the PGA TOUR was to work on a website redesign project. PGATOUR.COM had had the same look and basic functionality for about six years, an eternity in the digital space. During that time, consumption patterns changed. Mobile traffic was on the rise and PGATOUR.COM wasn’t mobile-friendly and thus under-serving a key and growing part of its audience. The redesign of PGATOUR.COM would tackle the mobile environment head-on, moving to a responsive design, among other notable changes.

One of the big changes was moving to a visually-driven site. The shift did a few things. For one, it created a more visual navigation that was more in line web trends and the type of mobile-friendly navigation seen on sites like Pinterest and others. But it also did more than that. It tied into an inherent part of the game. Unlike many sports that are played in same arena, golf is in a new spot every week. And those spots happen to be amazingly beautiful. We designed the site to put a spotlight on that kind of beauty.

The combination of a photography-rich site with mobile responsiveness is an interesting one—for my team in particular as the folks who are responsible with populating and updating the site. As we embarked on this new design, it meant the need for new disciplines both in how we shoot and in how we edit photos. For example, an image that’s tight on a player won’t crop well at smaller breakpoints.

At the time we relaunched, very few sites were embracing responsive design. In the sports world, in particular, we were one of the first to go in this direction. Despite having the need to balance a redesign project with a website audience that includes more traditional web users, we had to design for where the world was heading. In the time since we relaunched, we’ve only seen those mobile consumption patterns go further up.

We are also in a state of constantly updating the site. It’s never perfect but is a work in progress. The key is that the redesign gave us a strong foundation and others have agreed. In 2015, PGATOUR.COM won a “Best Website” award from Cynopsis Sports Media, beating out the likes of Bleacher Report, ESPN, Pac-12 Networks and Sports Illustrated.

Homepage before the redesign

Homepage before the redesign

before-homepage

Homepage before the redesign

Mobile version of the homepage before the redesign

Mobile version of the homepage before the redesign

afterhomepage_mobile

Mobile version of the homepage after the redesign

afterhomepage_desktop

Desktop version of the homepage after redesign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My role: Digital Strategy, Content Strategy

If you didn’t think Ronald McDonald could get creepier, think again. Taco Bell’s new ad campaign features a demented McDictator clown who rules over a depressed set of people within a walled city. Within a setting that could be straight out of District 12 in the Hunger Games, people are lined up for mediocre breakfasts. All breakfasts are the same, which is echoed in audio announcements piped around the town. “Routine is delicious. Same, same, same,” a woman’s voice says repeatedly.

That greyish sameness continues until two people are rebellious enough to fight back. Cue “Blitzreig Bop” and a chase scene featuring a creepy clown army. Eventually, our two rebels succeed and make it out of the walled city and to the Promised Land for what else…Taco Bell breakfast.

In addition to the video execution, I have to give the Deutsch and Taco Bell teams kudos on the posters appearing within the ad. They contribute to the theme and to the Communist motifs throughout. These posters set the brand up for some interesting print or even out-of-home executions that can really tie the campaign together across channels. Well done.

Taco Bell Poster

Taco Bell Poster2

It’s hard to get away from talks of the 2001 economic crash while traveling in Buenos Aires. It even reaches the world of street art as I learned on a walking tour of the city’s urban art highlights with Graffitimundo.

When the market crashed, the city’s graphic designers went to the streets, turning buildings into canvases. Their initial goal was simple: to create art for the community that would help brighten people’s spirits during tough times.

They had a unique approach that was partially influenced by economics. The artists used paints in their creations as opposed to the spray cans favored by taggers around the globe. Using paints was not only less expensive but it also meant room for a wider range of colors and style to come through.

Another key difference in the Buenos Aires street art scene is that it’s not about vandalism. It’s all about the art of permission. Artists will seek permission from building owners or ask around about abandoned buildings. Some owners will also commission art for their exteriors, which can be a good tactic in preventing random graffiti from showing up. A notable example of this is the Argentine restaurant Tegui. Its exterior wall is covered in the very detailed stencil art shown below.

Stencil Graffiti

There’s also a wide range of styles reflected across the city. Some of the most interesting works are where artists have collaborated on a wall, bringing together different styles. Others take advantage of existing pieces of buildings, such as the example below where a window was filled in but the bars left in place, something the painter worked with.

A Buenos Aires artist uses existing bars to create street art.

A Buenos Aires artist uses existing bars to create street art.

More photos from my Graffitimundo adventure are on Flickr.