Just Isn’t Music / Ninja Tune

The Just Isn’t Music (JIM) website was conceived back in early 2010 in a Shoreditch cafe. The idea was to create a website that would build on existing visual assets into something totally new that would remain fresh over the months and (hopefully) years …. oh, and the entire website had to be displayed on a single page. No problem, I said.

Fast-forward to July 2011 and the new JIM website is finally launched. But what happened in the eighteen months since it all began?

We already had the look and feel created for a previous incarnation of the website (credit: George Wu) that never left the launchpad so this gave us a strong starting-point for the visual style. But the layout needed a complete overhaul to realise the one page concept and it was critical to get the user experience right first time to ensure visitors instantly understood how to navigate the site.

The modular panel layout was designed to be re-ordered and added to easily (panel background colours can also be changed to suit requirements). A system of colour-coded hyperlinks was developed that would distinguish internal links (navigation, tabs, buttons) from external links, so the user experience was never disrupted by abrupt jumps to external websites. The navigation remains anchored at the top of the page so the quick-links and music player are always visible.

Because of the single page layout and the high amount of information to display we had to use Javascript to show and hide content dynamically. I turned to JQuery for most of the core UI functionality and animation effects. These are just some of the plugins I used:

jScrollPane by Kelvin Luck plugin is used to customise the styling of the panel scrollbars;
— JQuery AviaSlider slideshow plugin powers the Featured panel;
jQuery.LocalScroll and jQuery.scrollTo plugins by Ariel Flesler enable the animated page scrolling and #hash address linking;
ExternalInterface plugin allows Javascript to trigger play/stop actions in the Flash audio & video players.

What goes on behind the website is also worth mentioning. The site is integrated with a WordPress CMS with a few extra plugins installed to enable the advanced features of the site, including the MagicFields plugin that allows uploading of images, music tracks, and videos. The WordPress theme was built from scratch to display everything on one page and bypass a lot of the standard WordPress functionality.

Future developments include HTML5 audio/video players to replace the current Flash-based players, and a web-app version of the size optimised for mobile devices. So stay tuned!

Client: Ninja Tune / Just Isn’t Music
Design + Build: Supernova
Creative: Ben Stevens, George Wu

www.justisntmusic.com »