The Lake Club

Sean Lamberger

Written by Sean Lamberger
on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
in Case Studies

Comfortable Living, Both Online and Off

The latest in a long line of majestic planned communities within the greater whole of Lakewood Ranch, The Lake Club is a grand, proud development. Centered around a stunning clubhouse, the sprawling neighborhood is catered to active lifestyles with a passion for clean living. As the Ranch’s designated “green” area, these homes are more than just visual stunners: they also meet or surpass all standards for energy efficiency, sustainability and clear air.

From a design perspective, this was something of a dream project for us. GravityFree already enjoys a long, friendly history with the client, making collaboration a breeze. What’s more, their branding already enjoys very strong visibility in the region, and their unmistakable landscapes lend themselves exceptionally well to big, impressive photography. We were expected to present a brief, media-rich overview of the community to prospective home buyers, answer a few common questions and establish an online identity that’s both high-class and approachable. This is life in the lap of luxury, but it’s not out of reach for the middle class.

The Lake Club - Home Page
The Value of Photography

Clearly, one of the Lake Club’s greatest assets is its natural camera-ready beauty. It’s a trait that’s been carefully cultivated as Lakewood Ranch has grown, and that value is constantly on display in offline promotional materials. With the recent trends and technological advances online, the time has never been better to showcase this photography in a similar manner. Never is that more appropriate than on the home page, which is constructed around a gorgeous centerpiece photo of the clubhouse grounds. This photo speaks volumes: from the breathtaking Florida skies and cloudscapes to the lush, colorful native flora to the calm, reflective waters that depict it all back in reverse.

The design of the home page is slightly removed from the rest of the site to best accommodate such an essential photo. The important elements all remain in the same place, but they’ve been gently receded into the framework of the page, like a smartphone or tablet switched to night mode. It’s a powerful first impression, which emphasizes and enhances the strengths of the terrain without detracting from what makes it work.


A Fresh, Clean Home for Rich Information

Naturally, such effects are somewhat expected for the “magazine cover” approach of a site’s home page. More content-heavy internal pages, however, require a bit more restraint. Thus, the page’s navigation stripe shifts from a more enveloping transparent blue to a tidier, flatter black-on-white with gold accents. The content, too, grows more refined and legibility-minded, as the amount of copy increases and users shift from scanning the page to consuming its information. Photography still plays a large role in these pages, with a flavor-setting background image behind each header and a variety of slideshows and graphic-based features throughout the site, but never quite to the scale of that initial landscape.


Serving a Simple, Efficient Site Plan

With much of the development still under-construction at launch time, actually visualizing available properties presents an unusual problem. The Lake Club is selling the idea of their community, but serious buyers will want a better idea of what’s physically available. Our solution calls back to offline world of printed lot plans, enhanced with the benefits of an interactive environment. Using satellite imagery pulled from county records, we labeled a few essential landmarks and overlaid a simple, flat, color-coded map to match: dark brown for lots that have already sold, white for those that haven’t. With the aid of SVG (scalable vector graphics), GravityFree was able to deliver a precise, responsive portrayal of each lot that’s easy to comprehend and reacts to user input.

The Lake Club - Responsive Design

At Home On Any Device

As with all of our current sites, The Lake Club is designed with a persistently responsive philosophy. What that means, simply, is that it does more than just shrink the desktop site to fit a smartphone or tablet. We’ve carefully optimized the layout at several key resolutions to best prioritize and capitalize upon the unique quirks, benefits and limitations of each potential screen size. Through the use of innovative new markup techniques, we’re able to pull smaller images to fit smaller screens, so we aren’t killing a user’s monthly data plan with one jumbo-sized graphic. Text blocks grow more focused and concise. SVG icons and custom webfonts ensure the text and graphics look great on every screen… and will continue to do so regardless of the shapes, sizes and resolutions Apple and Google decide to introduce in next year’s models.

Luxury Living Beyond Compare

Our end result is a site that hits all the bases. Allowing generous space for photography and content alike, it embraces and complements the client’s existing materials while framing them within a sharp, responsive new page layout. Simple, efficient architecture makes navigating the site a breeze. The interactive new site plan gives visitors a deceptively easy means to browse and understand the community’s robust expansion plans. And it’s all maintained through our super-simple CMS system behind the curtain, allowing the client to make copy changes and property adjustments with just a few quick clicks.

But don’t take our word for it: explore one of southwest Florida’s most desirable new housing developments yourself at TheLakeClubLWR.com!