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Getting the opportunity to work with a company responsible for delivering some of the greatest arcade classics in history, including Asteroid and Pong, would always be an honor for Fi team, many of which are passionate gamers in their own right. It was with great pleasure then that Fi were selected by Atari to work alongside them in the reinvention of the Atari brand and the redesign of the Atari.com website.
With a history of experience and expertise in delivering sites for the entertainment and gaming industry, including EA.com, MTV.com and Nintendo, Fi were excited about the latest challenge and to be a part of Atari’s legacy in gaming that has spanned almost 40 years.
A kickoff meeting between the Fi and Atari.com teams was the first step, and an opportunity for the two teams to plan out the project. A pragmatic and agile process would be required to meet the tight deadlines, ensuring the website could be delivered before the holiday season.
The two teams would be working across continents, Fi’s Stockholm team responsible for developing the information architecture, wireframes, design and front-end development, with Atari completing the back-end development from LA.
Milestones and tasks were assigned on Basecamp and check-points scheduled to allow the required time for development, testing, QA and the all important FiQ to ensure the website reached the Fi-Quality in-house standard.
Daily SCRUMs were implemented, giving teams the opportunity to start the day with discussing daily progress, issue and upcoming work.
One of the challenges was in the design direction. Fi explored a number of different design directions in close collaboration with Atari. The results were all about the games, image driven, big, bold and confident with a touch of retro.
Information architecture was also a challenge for the site, with one of the difficulties of how to deal with games on multiple platforms with different sets of content. The site is localized in five different languages so designs and navigation needed to be flexible to handle varying word limits.
The solution needed to be scalable for the future, and ensure it met goals of increasing sales through making it easy to use and simple to buy.
Fi were responsible for the delivery of the front-end production of the website, working hand-in-hand with the Atari development team to bring the site through to fruition. Fi used a combination of AJAX, XHTML and CSS for the front-end development. AJAX was introduced for the first time at Atari and changed the way they thought about information architecture and presentation. As a result this improved the overall user experienced and reduced the number of required page loads.
With the Atari and Fi teams working closely throughout the project, the handoff and deployment process went very smoothly, Fi beating the deadlines and resulting in a website that was delivered on time and on budget.
With a new look and feel and lineup of games, Atari.com will be attracting a whole new audience for the gaming giant to continue its journey.
A collection of components from Atari.com
November 6, 2009
- Actionscript 3
- Flash 10
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