Website design that blows your mind

Lauren Bennett

By Lauren Bennett | 8th May 2016

When DS Virgin Racing approached our design team at Zest Creative for a new website design, we knew we had to make it interactive, exciting, cutting edge and lightning-quick to download too!  They have so much spur of the moment news to broadcast keeping fans in touch that we had to develop the perfect resolve for all their requirements and needs.

Taking the brief

DS Virgin Racing need to satisfy a plethora of target groups including media, partners, sponsors, motor-racing tech fans and ultimately the world-wide fan-base.

Our main challenge was to create a site that was visually immersive and engaging for the fans

Rich Dean, Creative Lead on the project The new DS Virgin Racing website was redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up. Our main challenge was to create a site that was visually immersive and engaging for the fans, but one that was also quick to load and fully responsive. Designing a completely bespoke solution allowed us the control to achieve all these things.”

Design and technical input

Our aim was to create a bright, vibrant, visually engaging site that captured the fan’s imagination through rich imagery of the cars, drivers and races. Load times were a critical factor though, so we poured a lot of time and effort into writing custom code to address key challenges, including serving up different sized images depending on the size of the device it was being used on, ensuring only smaller, lower resolution images were served on mobile devices.

Another key component of the site is the homepage’s social wall that pulls in content from Twitter, DS Virgin Racing – YouTube and DS Virgin Racing – Instagram. Again this involved some intelligent coding to allow all the channels to work together seamlessly.

Homepage blog facility

DS Virgin Racing are constantly keeping their followers up to date, the blog facility sits on the home page where fans can simply click on the latest news item and see the latest Tweets to tune into.  Nobody misses anything here!

Social Interaction – #DSVRWall

DSVR Social Wall

Zest designed a ‘Social Wall’ whereby fans can tweet #DSVRWall for the chance to see their tweet featured on the homepage. There’s also the chance to vote for their favourite driver (Sam or JEV, of course) by hitting the FanBoost tile. The driver with the most votes on race day receives a literal mechanical advantage and boost!  It was imperative that our website design hosts and facilitates this excitement and fun.  Linking to their Twitter was also a must, keeping everyone up to date with videos, news and features is imperative!

Design that satisfies all devices

The new site was built on WordPress, which we chose due to its wide support and ease of use – from a design and code perspective, but also to allow the client to update the site as freely and easily as possible.  All the care and attention to detail that we put into the design and development has paid off. We produced a visually immersive site that works across mobile, tablet and desktop and consistently loads in around 1 second or less, with a performance grade of 95/100. The client is extremely happy and the site has helped to position them as a leading force in Formula E.

So… OK the Zest team didn’t get to go to Buenos Aires, however, we did get the site up and running prior to their first WIN this year!  And we won GOLD at the Kent Digital Awards for Best Responsive Website!