Benjamin J. Mace
Interactive Direction & Development
FedEx: Our Changing World
FedEx "Our Changing World" is an interactive experience that allows users to discover the ever changing world around them through its data. As the digital center of a global campaign, Grow Interactive worked with BBDO Guerrero and BBDO New York to deliver this vast, information rich web experience. "Our Changing World" is a hybrid of Flash and CSS centered around a custom cartogram engine built within ActionScript. The experience is seamless on both desktop and mobile devices providing alternate presentations when Flash isn't supported. Cartograms and supporting content are added through a custom CMS all the while providing localized content in 7 languages.
Sprint 4G Network
Leading mobile in broadband, Sprint unveiled its new 4G network in 2010 and the world's first 4G phone in March. To help promote possibilities of the 4G network, Sprint turned to Goodby and Grow to take its 3G Now Network campaign to the next level. Utilizing SWFAddress, Flash 10 3D, loads of video content and 3D animation, the new experience site allows customers to explore 4G products and all of their possibilities.
Venus Shave School
Working with Saatchi Canada, Grow helped produce this entertaining promotional site for Gillette and the new Venus Embrace razor. Shave School takes "tweens" through the scary process of learning to shave and awards them with a free razor upon receiving their diploma. Working with Drastic, the site features beautiful sound design, amazing illustration by Grow's Jason Levesque and was delivered with localized content for both English and French Canadians.
The Mizuno Match microsite showcases Mizuno's Performance Fitting System. Visitors can watch product walk throughs, testimonial videos by real players, explore awarded clubs and find a store near them. The site features a viral video campaign allowing visitors to customize messages to friends and share videos via email.
VIZIO Internet Apps
Grow's first production effort of 2010 introduced football fans to VIZIO's new VIA Internet Application powered product line. In conjunction with a massive Super Bowl spot, the micro site allowed customers to explore the applications and the new products utilizing them. The site also serves as an additional spot for showcasing the amazing Super Bowl commercial.
The HP Photosmart site explores the newest features of the world's first web-connected printer. Multiple Flash techniques were combined to allow visitors to discover features through 3D rendered product tours and hands on demos. SWF Address, a SEO optimized alternate version and language localization, including right-to-left (RTL) support for Hebrew and Arabic, contributed to a successful international launch.
To promote the launch of KY's new product for women, Mother NYC & Grow developed the KY Satisfaction Lab. KY Intense is an arousal gel for women and the fictional laboratory helped women discover its many benefits. The Satisfaction Lab combines a wealth of humorous animation and sound with informative information about the product.
Sponsors of Tomorrow
Working with Venables Bell & Partner's, Grow developed the online portion of the "Sponsors of Tomorrow" campaign which we designed around Intel's clean rooms. The site explored the many ways Intel is working on future technologies outside of computer chips through the use of video, 3D animation and games. Sponsors of Tomorrow featured PaperVision 3D, green screen video, custom sound design, deep linking, MMS & web generated RSS feeds as well as localization for an international audience.
My Virginia Memory
To help celebrate 40 years of the Virginia Is For Lovers campaign, BCF worked with Grow to help develop a site that moved beyond the screen and into people's hearts. Visitors could explore past branding and create a postcard from a memory in Virginia. They could then customize it and mail a real postcard to a friend to rekindle a fondness for the state. Using advanced digital printing methods and variable data, the site allowed the Virginia Tourism department to create branded keepsakes for its target audience.
After almost 6 years of award winning interactive design, Grow replaced its long standing temporary webpage with a rich portfolio. Containing a wealth of video site tours, narration and write ups driven by a custom content management system, clients and fans can now see the breath of Grow's work and learn more about them through news, a blog and Twitter updates. Grow's site features a SWF Address deep linked navigation, multiple character easter eggs, elegant textural animation and content transitions.
Mother New York
Mother's portfolio is a nod to channel surfing and presents users with videos of their work through a clean and simple navigation. In keeping with their quirky style, humors videos are shuffled with actual campaign spots and integrated with off the wall SEO search terms.
HP Happy Holidays 2008
This 2008 holiday greeting was aimed at an international audience with multiple cultures. Working with Goodby, Grow helped create a simple, snow globe like page that presented holiday greetings in 13 languages. A rendered jack from HP's thinking head, custom sounds without cultural ties and some wind dynamics helped create a peaceful scene.
Thank You Begins With a T
Grow's internal promotion site was aimed at thanking clients and friends for their business and support over the past years. Visitors could meet all of our team members through unique interactions and select a T-Shirt with a special code. Filmed in-house in HD video, our team presented drawings that integrated with the site and became interactive experiences. Orders were shipped through a custom content management system and beautifully crafted packages.
Working with DraftFCB, Grow developed a PaperVision driven microsite for the launch of the new ZN4 phone. Exploring the phone's features through 6 passionate and unique individuals, visitors can weave throughout the experience by choosing a profile and exploring them and the features that are related to them and visa versa.
Happy In Greenville
Grow worked with Brains on Fire and GoodEgg Studio to carry Bon Secours St. Francis Health System online through a highly animated exploration of Greenville. Celebrating life and well-being in South Carolina, prospective residents were able to find doctors and learn about Greenville and the Bon Secure's health system. Filled with fun easter eggs, custom sounds, narration and beautiful animation, Happy In Greenville was my first project with Grow and my favorite project in the last 12 years of my career.
A well established name in sports related skin care products, Brave Solider started a brand overhaul in 2007 beginning with their website. Running my own studio then, Brave Solider was you+we's first direct client. The site featured dynamic XML driven product pages that integrated into an existing e-commerce system. Products were shot at creative angles by Leon Guanzon in Virginia Beach.
Working with Knowawall Design in NYC, George Richmond's portfolio presents a clean and simple showcase of his superior work. The interface has a traditional navigation at the bottom and an exploitive thumbnail navigation within the center of the page. The site has subtle UI implementations such as hiding the video controls when not needed, enabling the users to be completely focused on the cinematography.
Royal Caribbean Food & Beverage
Together with Battle Medialab, you+we helped create the Food & Beverage site, a media rich recruiting tool for the international cruise line. The site focuses on the amenities of the ships, the award rich history of the staff and the benefits of working aboard. The site features a large job listing schema, a filtering system for positions as well as an application form. It also has a slick gallery, a host of videos and a global map of hiring partners.
ADT Home Security Advisor
The ADT Home Security Advisor is a small application that allows ADT to better recommend a security system for your home and life style. Pitching with Battle for a redesign, this Art Direction focuses on simplicity, engagement and organization. At the time the Advisor had no progress indication for the user, was very wordy and presented in a dry multiple choice format resulting in a high drop off rate. I designed the questions as simple games and gave progress and answers a clear presentation.
For you+we's first holiday promotional effort we wanted to create something to show off our creative, illustration and development abilities to the world. We created a way for people to share holiday greetings which were spawned from The Christmas Story's decoder ring. Well wishers could enter a message which was scrambled and sent to a friend to decode using a secretly generated key. Recipients used volvelles on a game board illustrated in a warm, traditional mid-century charm to decipher their holiday greeting.
Sawyer's Nickname Generator
Working with Sisu in LA I developed this small widget for the 2008 season premiere of Lost. The generator is powered by a series of arrays connected to each trait selected. From there the traits are tallied and the chosen arrays are combined and then randomized for a unique pick each time.
Working with Sisu in LA, I helped redesign Portland Monthly's online presence. Filled with a robust amount of articles and information on Portland, as well as utilities to find things around the city, the redesign was a huge exercise in organization and structure.
Concord completely redesigned its site for the launch of the new C1 model. Together with Indelible I helped develop and coordinate a dynamic Flash site fed by XML. The news, products, history and press were all external and deep linked via SWF Address. The site housed a large amount of photographs which were all knocked out and retouched as well as 3D renders of the C1.
Working with well known photographer Peggy Sirota and designer Daniel Stromborg, I developed a visually minimal Flash showcase for her stunning photography and her incredible motion work. The XML driven site has almost no animation allowing for a quick and responsive presentation.
GetHairapy.com was relaunched in 2007 as a refresh to their product line. I worked with Rokkan and JWT to help develop the product level pages of the site in both English and Spanish. The site was XML driven and allowed users to get details on products that would be best for their hair type through quizzes, product overviews, tips and suggestions.
Working together with Indelible & Cheil, Samsung's 2007 HDTV microsite was a big undertaking in a short amount of time. Filled with information about their new HD product line, the site featured lots of custom AS2 components all driven by XML to allow for the addition of products, updates to existing ones and rolling promotions. The site featured deep linked pages and components which could run independently of the main shell for cross site widget promotion.
Innovista University of S.C. Interactive Map
Together with Bryce Bigger I helped add functionality to this interactive map for the University of South Carolina. Among many things, I created several components, helped with the XML schema, keyed up the map to data counterparts, added detail displays, a print brochure within Flash and an accordion style list view.
AOL Autos 2007
One of the largest endeavors I've been involved with to date, the 2007 Autos channel new car search reflected a break with Edmunds and a new partnership with AutoData. I worked with a large team to redesign the search functionality as well as the result and model view art direction. AOL launched a completely new search funnel experience with new tools and new levels of information integration and vehicle comparison.
AOL Shopping 2006
I helped AOL's shopping channel launch a new design in April of 2006. Reusing much of the existing functionality in the prior UI, the new design added AOL branding standards and supported the advocacy voice shared across AOL. A standardized grid, the introduction of editorial content, IAB sized CMS modules and a new color scheme created a content rich and digestible experience.
AOL Back to School 2006
For the second year in a row, AOL Shopping successfully launched a rich media piece to highlight the hottest gear for the 2006 school year. In addition to interactive product catalogs accompanied by audio & video, the 2006 Back to School event allowed users to create their own outfits based on age group and gender. Video was presented within AOL's standard video player to allow integration with ad bumpers and tracking. In addition, products were tracked in Flash by impressions and click through to partners.
AOL Save The Planet
In an effort to celebrate Earth Day 2006, AOL created a multi-channel event centered around the concept of saving the planet and your wallet. Lasting as an "ever green" special on Research & Learn, Save The Planet offered information on topics like recycling, better gas mileage and investing in green companies. I was lucky to have the opportunity to create one of the only multi-channel designs used by AOL.
Working with Ultra 16, this localized microsite was an international launch for Clinique's new Repairwear product line. The microsite site was built completely from scratch and delivered in 8 languages. Multiple components such as buttons to quiz questions were developed to scale in everything from German to Chinese. The site featured 12 products, interviews with developers and a product suggestion application.
I worked with Roger Cline to develop Charriol's 2006 holiday launch. The site was developed using XML and an expanding layout that allowed for new pieces and collections to be added over time. Each individual piece had a unique zoom rollover functionality and cross promotional suggestions for other jewelry.
The Hair Heroes microsite was a small build I helped complete for Ultra 16 promoting a stylist contest and Bumble and bumble's look book. The development time for the project was relatively short and in just a handful of hours I pieced together the awesome creative supplied by Ultra 16.
AOL Shopping Holidays
The 2005 Holiday Shopping Guide was a promotional piece for the holiday season on AOL Shopping. From a business standpoint, the event helped to promote products that could be categorized together ie: gadgets. Our creative team came up with personalities that shoppers could relate to and convey to people on their own lists. Shoppers could then find gifts each person might be interested in and complete a point of sale.
Clothes We Love
AOL teamed up with Time Warne's InStyle magazine to promote the 2005 Fall Fashion Show with clothing designed by top fashion talent in NYC. Clothes We Love showcased catwalk videos, model shots as well as the clothing worn by them. Visitors could then get details on the clothing and click on links to find similar items for the fall season on AOL Shopping. The piece incorporated a wide variety of custom components & classes as well as 400+ XML driven products.
AOL Back to School 2005
Back to School was one of the first rich media promotional pieces done for AOL Shopping (previously inStore) and AOL Red. Back to School allowed visitors to watch trend specific fashion videos and browse showcased products simultaneously. Visitors could get details on items, find similar items through AOL's Pinpoint search and create a wish list of new fashion. Built entirely in Flash, the Back to School event paved the way for other media rich experiences on AOL Shopping.
Developed for the Xbox 360, the 2006 Madden interface was a complete break from the normal screen to screen cookie crumb approach to console game interfaces. Plagued by lower 640x480 resolutions and large fonts, front end UIs haven't allowed room for an ever-present main menu. The 2006 UI made use of processing power and resolution to adopt an ever-present cascading menu. I helped develop the main menu and contributed to widgets such as the in-game HUD. I also provided ActionScript consulting to the UI team on a daily basis.
Chase For The Cup
While working at Tiburon I contributed to 2 NASCAR titles. NASCAR Chase For The Cup was a console title and utilized an all Flash front end. I was also the primary Flash developer for the PC based NASCAR SimRacing. My main role was creating classes and components for the front end UI. Together with several developers we created a blind system that was driven by a C++ backend through custom messaging hooks which populated and changed component states.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Inverted Utopias
Inverted Utopias, held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, was the first large-scale exhibition devoted to the emergence of avant-garde art in Latin America from 1920 to 1970. Together with FOUO I helped develop the functional components and book explorations used within the exhibit's kiosk and on its website.
The ISG redesign provided a clear organization to a large amount of company information and services. ISG requested something different from a typical grid driven template. As a result, the design incorporated top level lead promotions followed by several smaller content promotions and a simple lower 2 & 3 column grid structure.
Miller Property Management
The Miller Property Management redesign featured writing geared toward what their customers needed in real estate, be it retail or office space. Featuring a large promotional visual and a 2 column grid in the lower half, I attempted to breath some life in to what little content they had and MLS listings.
Redken Metro Color
Metro color was the first CD-Rom based Flash presentation I developed at Firstborn. Using Flash 4, the CD presentation informed Redken salons about the upcoming hair color products being released. Featuring photography and music from their broadcast spots, I created 10 transition animations to carry users from section to section and developed an interactive color explorer.
The William Morris microsite was created as a pro-bono project for The Chrysler Museum. Taking a look and feel from printed material, the site was a simple and smooth display of beautiful photography. I had the opportunity to do everything from art direction to sound production on this project and it's still one of the most discussed piece in my portfolio today.
AboutBenjamin J. Mace graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1997 with a B.F.A. in Communication Arts. His education focused on design fundamentals such as Typography, Color Theory, Design History and Process. After graduation, Benjamin stumbled upon Macromedia Flash, which dramatically changed the course of his career by adding an interactive element to his work.
Over the last 10 years he has been exposed to design, art direction, scripting, marketing and managing both projects and teams. Benjamin is currently the Interactive Director at Grow Interactive in Norfolk, Virginia.
He has worked with fortune 500 companies as well as small studios and his past career spans advertising, video game design, animation, information architecture and experience design. Benjamin is a published Flash author, an instructor and an avid contributor to the design community through AIGA, writing, message board moderation, event speaking and open source.
Contactemail: bmace [at] bmace [dot] com
© Copyright 2009 Benjamin J. Mace