The Danish award-winning digital product and brand experience agency Spring/Summer has made a remarkable impact over the years in setting a new standard for future online design solutions. DANISH™ sat down with them to talk about effective work methods.
As you walk down the street in the dead centre of Copenhagen you can’t help but notice the buzzing urban environment that is the scene for the new Spring/Summer office. It is clear that these dynamic surroundings have an inspirational vibe that flows in through windows of the first floor of the office – located in the charming Kompanistræde, just fifty metres from the iconic shopping street Strøget.
This is also where we met up with their Creative Director, Pelle Martin, and Head of UX, Jeppe Kruse, for a cup of coffee to talk about some of Spring/Summer’s latest projects; in particular, three design solutions that really stand out as something special.
SIMPLY CHOCOLATE | E-commerce Experience
Simply Chocolate is a Copenhagen-based chocolate-making company established in 2011. Spring/Summer was hired to design their new web shop with a focus on drawing people’s attention. This ended up as an interactive platform, where the products, in the form of chocolate bars, unpack themselves as you scroll down the site.
“We had to make the whole experience of unwrapping the chocolate an exciting thing to do for the user. We know that chocolate isn’t something you tend to wait for to arrive in the mail – it’s an instant craving that you might buy on impulse when you need it”, says Pelle Martin.
This is also why the site requires you to put a minimum of 20 pieces of chocolate in your basket before you’re able to check out.
He continues, “You actually have to buy a lot of chocolate before it makes any financial sense. But this site is about something more than just the shopping part: it’s also about delivering nutritional info and telling a story about each product along the way”.
In this case, Simply Chocolate already had a visual identity, so Spring/Summer decided to build on top of that and create a “miniature universe” around the individual variants in terms of recognizable colour layers to match the catchy product names, i.e. the Fresh Freddie, Fit Fiona and Persian Perry.
“We are really proud of how this site turned out. There’s hundreds of different approaches we could have chosen, but I really feel that our choice to be uncompromising with giving the site visitors the entire user experience has paid off very well ”, Pelle Martin tells.
Spring/Summer won three Creative Circle Gold Awards for their work on Simply Chocolate – “Best E-commerce”, “Best Product Site” and “Best UI Design”.
ENGELBRECHTS | Branded E-commerce
Engelbrechts is a renowned Danish design company founded in 1989 by Morten Engelbrecht. In this case Spring/Summer had to focus a lot on the brand’s approach to online B2C sales. Their job was essentially to create a more personal appeal to private customers without compromising the strong existing B2B connections.
“We had to evoke different emotions when approaching potential B2C customers as opposed to B2B clientele. B2C customers want to feel a personal connection to the product; whereas B2B buyers may want a more straight-forward consumer experience, where it is easy for them to buy, say, 100 pieces of the same chair”, says Pelle Martin.
With their new website design, Engelbrechts has been given the opportunity to tell more about their products and in a different way than before, states Pelle Martin. These solutions might not always be the easiest ways to do it, but Spring/Summer claims that it’s important for them to experiment and explore unconventional methods.
”Since the beginning of Spring/Summer, it has always been our ambition to try out new ways to approach projects. This might include, for example, having the audacity to challenge customers in an effort to help them become better and thereby to increase the quality of the end product. That’s the attitude that helps us win awards: it’s because we insist on keeping that high a level of professionalism. If you want to achieve the best, it’s all about hard work”, says Jeppe Kruse.
IMPLEMENT CONSULTING GROUP | Recruitment & Info Hub
Implement Consulting Group is a growing Scandinavian-based consultancy that, at the time of writing, employs around 750 people, with their main headquarters located in Hellerup, in the northern part of Copenhagen.
According to Pelle Martin, this isn’t a typical kind of consultancy; when you enter their main office building, it feels like you’re walking into a nice, boutique hotel, where everyone is sitting all around, working on their individual projects. And it is important that this type of work environment should shine through in everything they do, including in their digital presence.
“Implement is a different kind of company. Their brief to us was, that their website visitors should be able to reflect themselves in the company’s philosophy of making a ‘change with impact’. So we started off by interviewing a lot of their employees and customers to make sure that we found the right digital appearance for them”, says Pelle Martin.
This human presence with the customer is a cornerstone in Spring/Summer’s own company structure. It is an essential part of their work to be able to have a close dialogue with all of their customers.
“We appreciate being a company with few employees and having a working structure like ours. This way, everyone here knows what each other is doing and that helps us to secure only the highest quality in our products. It creates a greater feeling of comfort for our customers to know that whoever they talk to at Spring/Summer about their wishes, it is the same people that will be working on their project in the end”, says Jeppe Kruse.
It took a lot of work to decide what type of online platform Implement needed as there were many different design paths to go down. Pelle Martin explains that they could have either made the site very personal and based on individuals or could instead have focused on the entire company at a more comprehensive level.
“We chose to blend these approaches and made five main categories into base layers that site visitors can dive into and navigate throughout the site – and we really feel that this layering system represented the company structure and profile very well. In addition to that, we wanted to make sure that visitors never get lost in this site as its main purpose is sharing info and recruiting new employees. Therefore, it should always be easy to find the things you’re looking for”, says Pelle Martin.
Implement follows a mantra that says they are “always in beta”. That’s why Spring/Summer chose to visually incorporate geometric shapes as a continuous concept that changes as you scroll down the site. Pelle Martin explains,
“This is a reference to Implements work ethic, as we tried to tell the story that they are in a state of constant transformation. Of course, this shouldn’t look half-done but it still it has to give the impression that it’s able to evolve into something bigger”.