Deepsea Challenge

    National Geographic, 2012


    We worked in-secret with the National Geographic Society and filmmaker James Cameron to build the web-mission-control for their covert exploratory journey to the Earth's deepest point — the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.


    Educating and activating a wide audience was at the foundation of the project. The visitor needed to understand the challenges and risks associated with the historic dive, and why the team was assembled to embark on such an ambitious mission. The site needed to feature the amazing technology that would be used in the dive as well as National Geographic's extensive and ever-expanding content surrounding the subject. These elements needed to edu-tain the visitor while imparting the momentous nature of the dive. The client wanted to keep the timing of the dive undisclosed, yet offer individuals around the world the opportunity to see history happen live as it occurs.


    We embarked on a perilous journey to surround the visitor in the dark, cold, and alien world. The DEEPSEA Challenge website is a combination of HTML5 parallax and Flash animations that draw the visitor into the expedition's murky and mysterious depths. The vertical scroll and layered elements give the site the appearance of depth that can be utilized to dive deeper and deeper into the content of the site. Descending into the sea, the sunlight light dims behind informational content that is flanked by animations of the divers, the sub, and sea-life — until the rocky outcroppings and the bottom of the trench appear. Since the momentous dive would happen with little notice, the website's goal was to gather visitor's contact information and the ability to connect socially on a variety of platforms so that they could be notified as soon as the event occurred.