Damen Shipyards - The master ship builder
Damen Shipyards has a rich history of luxury yacht building that goes back over 100 years. They are the Dutch master ship builder behind more than 100 Amels superyachts, SeaXplorer expedition yachts, Yacht Support vessels and major yacht refits. As part of the Damen Shipyards Group, owned by the Damen family, they strive for innovative technological solutions for their yacht building. They apply the same approach when it comes to their online presence. In collaboration with Iquality, Damen Shipyards are in the process of developing a multisite environment.
First, Iquality worked on rebuilding the corporate Damen website, and were once again engaged to revamp their Damen Yachting websites as well.
Iquality’s exceptional approach consists, among others, of offering self-guiding multidisciplinary teams as a service: strategy, concept, design, development and support in one team. The team worked closely with Damen Shipyards, getting to know them and their internal procedures, becoming an extension of their own team.
With this set-up and mindset of continuous development, Iquality was more than ready to tackle the complex digital challenges of this project, finding the perfect balance of innovation and control.
Eye on the horizon
In today’s ever-evolving and ever-changing web industry it is paramount to close the digital gap - what experience your digital setup can offer versus what your users need and want. In the case of Damen Shipyards, they were looking to replicate the fast, responsive, and secure platform they built for the Damen corporate website. More than that, they wanted to create a fully immersive digital experience that reflected the luxurious brand of Damen Shipyards.
With this list of objectives and the initial design, Iquality started implementing their work process, setting up a structured backlog of features and user stories, and forming a practical vision of the final product. The first deliverable is their new brand website www.damen.com. The main feature of this website is, undoubtedly, the portfolio, designed to be the ultimate experience for showcasing their vessels. Fully animated, it emphasizes the lavish vessels through video scrolling, going far beyond a normal brochure you would find on typical websites.
In technical terms, the video animation is translated into hundreds of images being loaded to create the smooth, pixel-perfect transition. The challenge for Iquality was to achieve this goal without affecting page performance and page experience. They overcame this technical challenge by leveraging the power and optimization features of Cloudinary and Storyblok. Additionally, their tech stack also includes Azure, React.js and Next.js
Working on the portfolio page, displaying two flagships and information about every vessel of the Damen fleet, consumed a big part of the 6 months it took to rebuild the website.
When they started the development process, the designs were not complete, but this was not an issue as the headless CMS is ideal for agile project development. The design team worked simultaneously with the development team building reusable components.
Another challenge for Iquality was to keep their eye on the horizon and build a scalable future-proof web presence. Especially, since the Damen Shipyards platform will be a multisite environment. Additional content will be added soon starting with the migration of their corporate website www.damen.com from Wordpress to this platform. This meant the agency had to elaborate on the structure of the multisite instance and visualize content outside of a page context. Specifically, they implemented their content modeling based on atomic design.
For this specific project, the headless CMS was chosen by the IT team at Damen. However, Iquality has already been working with headless CMS systems for two years. In their search for a CMS offering seamless content migration and decoupled digital architecture, they came across Storyblok. The choice was easy, especially since Storyblok fully supports the atomic design approach. Our unique multi-layer component-based approach allows content creators to reuse their well-structured content. They can create and nest components without limits, fill them with content, and customize them as needed. Adding to that the powerful Visual Editor, the possibility to work in pages and modules, and the ability to create templates, made it easy for Iquality to intuitively arrange the interface for content creators.
The power of Storyblok’s features and plugins, combined with Iquality’s approach of testing and expanding the limits of what is possible is reflected in the Light house results.
While this project was brought successfully to the finish line, with brilliant results, the journey is not done. Iquality set forth on a long voyage with Damen Shipyards Group, exploring new territories and realizing further ambitions.
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