By Scott Jehl
When I began consulting with the Begin team in late 2023, they had a "good problem" on their hands. Several years prior, the team took a calculated risk, anticipating that our industry would soon grow weary–and wary–of the fragile, complicated, and slow web delivery methods they'd been using for so long. They foresaw a shift towards resilient, simpler, and performant standards-driven patterns and developed a suite of top-notch full-stack developer tools centered around concepts such as Web Components (a W3C web standard) and Functional Web Apps (a serverless architecture geared towards deterministic, scalable deployment). As 2024 approached, the web industry had awakened to the advantages of these patterns. Now, the Begin team merely needed to broaden awareness of their tools and communicate just how well they meet the moment we're in.
I worked with the Begin team to create a new website and design language that would showcase their premium Begin Deploy product alongside their open source products like Enhance, Architect, and aws-lite. The site needed to explain how the tools relate to one another, how powerful they are on their own, and of course how to use them. The team aimed to strike a balance of retaining the charm and familiarity of existing brands–particularly their playful, developer-focused Enhance framework and its adorable mascot, Axol–while presenting their overall suite in a visual language that matched the professional grade of the tools.
Begin's tools are carefully built to enable fast and resilient sites, which is something I care a great deal about, so it was great fun to lead with a big, bold, and animated headline on the homepage emphasizing those aims: "Build Resilient, Fast, Radically Simple, Light, Maintainable, Accessible Web Apps."
The full scope of the work, which you can browse in my work section involved extending their existing brand with new product logos, helping plan a hierarchy for their site, designing global user interfaces and landing pages, tweaking CSS animation keyframes, and front-end HTML and CSS development. A special shoutout goes to Cole Peters and Kristofer Joseph at Begin for all of the tight collaboration and work that brought this new design to life.
Check it out!
The new Begin site launched this week and I want to congratulate the team on their new online home!
Oh! And lastly, but not least..ly, do not sleep on their 404 page!
By the way... I am currently exploring work opportunities for 2024! If you think I might make a good addition to your team, whether full-time or as an independent contractor, please reach out.