This one was a lot of fun: The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics wanted an independent, powerful website that could handle the needs of three different constituents, all in one design.
Tiny history lesson: The Commission was formed in response to the highly visible scandals in college sports. The Commission’s goal: to recommend a reform agenda that emphasized academic values, and counteracted commercialization. Their site needed to reach out to students, answer questions for the media, and be a resource for educators.
Hop Studios came up with a site that had some darn good forum software, instant graphical polls that can be set up by any staff member, a registration system that allows students to enter all sorts of profile information, and a front page that’s customized based on what sort of registered user you are.
We also did our first ever (and I dare say, really cool) integration with Flickr: the staff uses Flickr to display almost all the photos on the site, and students can submit photos directly for consideration to be used in the site. The photos are all managed via Flickr’s tagging and editing system. It’s more powerful than most commercial photo gallery software, and the bandwidth cost to Knight is drastically reduced, even in the face of the many expected visitors the site will get. We got the idea from Moveon, and were able to adapt some of their functionality, though what they’re doing is an order of magnitude even better.
In any case, I really like the single orange line design that Knight picked, and I think that the site’s users will be enthusiastic about their new central destination for news and discussion about the issues facing student athletes.