When creating a website for the incredibly talented photographer Erik Madigan Heck, being minimal was key so that the artwork could speak for itself. Erik provided the content and art direction, and I built him a site to display his portfolio of work.

This site was created using the framework Backbone.js, a JavaScript based framework that uses jQuery and Ajax to load page content. Each page load updates the browser’s history state and URL so that the user can navigate through the site, and so search engines can differentiate individual pages. In order to build the site, I also had to create an API to serve up the content from the database. I set up a php/MySQL API that can serve up site content based on the page name and querystring parameters. In this way Ajax could retrieve any portion of the site content without using any server side code in the website framework. This allows for smooth transitions between pages of the portfolio without having to refresh the page, which would re-load unnecessary elements such as the top navigation and branding.

The final product is a clean website that uses smooth transitions keeps the users attention focused on the content by eliminating distracting page loads. Erik has since updated his live website, but the original project can still be found  here.