A visually appealing website won’t, on its own, improve education research. But in order for Terracotta to advance our understanding of what works in student learning on a broad scale, people need to perceive Terracotta as trustworthy and accessible. This was our overarching goal when designing Terracotta’s public image, to showcase Terracotta’s integrity, while also simplifying Terracotta’s value and key features. We’re committed to making Terracotta available to as many people as possible, and for better or worse, appearances matter in that regard.
Our work began by identifying Terracotta’s different audiences, and the questions they might have when approaching Terracotta. Based on this, we organized a content outline, which slowly evolved into a preliminary sitemap, with room to grow as Terracotta develops.
As we imagined our website’s content, we also considered how it might be visually styled. We made collection spaces on Miro, which included examples of other similar brands in the space of digital experimentation and education and visual elements that we thought might align with our identity. These spaces eventually evolved into 9 different mood boards. Ultimately, we found that we were drawn to abstract shapes with a textured screen-printing quality that could simplify the Terracotta story, a warm color palette to extend the “terracotta” theme, and foregrounding text while also providing ample negative space.
Then came the task of putting it all together. We drafted a layout in Webflow, and identified the specific places where we wanted to include illustrations. We were extremely lucky to be able to partner with Roman Muradov, who gave life to our look with his amazing artwork.
And stay tuned! Within the next few weeks we will also unveil an explainer video on the Terracotta homepage, currently under development in collaboration with Piehole.tv.
None of this would have been possible without the design wizardry of Kim Burgas (who also is credited with designing Terracotta’s user interface), and the written voice of Harmony Jankowski (Terracotta’s project manager), both of whom managed to strike an amazing balance by developing a home equally accessible to teachers, researchers, educational technologists, and everyone else interested in Terracotta. Thanks to Kim and Harmony!