zen.digital was engaged by artist Scott Draves, creator of the flame algorithm and the Electric Sheep art project to do a complete overhaul of the existing website. In addition to a complete visual and organizational redesign, zen.digital created a sign-up form for their new Gold Membership, developing software to manage recurring payments and integrating a new forum and newsletter.
zen.digital also updated, and continues to provide ongoing maintenance to the Electric Sheep Android application ; fixing in-app purchases, battery saver mode, adding daydream mode, and doubling the flock size.
Electric Sheep’s founder realized the original website, launched in 1999, was in need of a redesign. The dated site lacked a number of desired features. The forum system was difficult to maintain. And the new Gold model required mechanisms for managing members and payments. Besides antiquated elements, the site had design shortcomings, including not having its renowned art occupy the center of attention.
Using a balance of design and technologies, zen.digital updated the Electric Sheep website to be responsive, easy to modify, and able to accept payments. In addition to a complete visual and navigational redesign, zen.digital integrated a new forum, developed software to manage recurring payments, and created a sign-up form for Gold Membership.
Technologies employed in the website redesign included:
- AngularJS front-end
- NodeJS on the server side
- Jekyll as a static site generator for design
- Stripe API
A website that pleases both the artist and his patrons. Navigation and user experience have been improved with an engaging home page design that represents the spirit of the Electric Sheep art. The design now includes all the modern elements that were missing, including payment, membership, and its own newsletter.
The site’s underlying design is flexible and extensible allowing for future changes. It's responsive design adapts automatically to the screen of the device on which it is being viewed. Development was driven and managed by zen.digital’s Agile/Lean design process, produced a distinctive website within the client’s time and cost parameters.
The Android app is once again accepting payments, is better at conserving battery life, and has a new daydream mode.
About Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep is a communal, or crowdsourced, screensaver project, launched in 1999, that currently has 500,000 users. For users, the site is a free screensaver that can be installed on their computers and mobile devices. For contributors, Electric Sheep is a distributed computing project for animating images in the form of fractal flames. The images that are contributed are distributed to networked computers, which in turn display them as a screensaver.
Electric Sheep is the brainchild of artist Scott Draves, the inventor of fractal flames, whose work has been shown at LACMA, MoMA.org, Prix Ars Electronica, ZKM, and Art Futura. Specialized versions of Electric Sheep are on display in collections worldwide, including 21c Museum Hotel, MQSCapital, Google, the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, and MEIAC.
The name Electric Sheep is taken from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” The screensaver art evolves as new designs are introduced that strive for popularity.