January's Site of the Month has been been awarded to New Zealand-based SilverStripe Professional Partner, DNA, for the Wellington Advent Calendar. The site celebrates Christmas and promotes local businesses with a highly interactive user experience.
DNA started over 28 years ago, initially as a brand design studio, then slowly morphed into what it is today with two offices and over 40 staff. Their focus is helping organisations innovate through a user-centred approach to business transformation.
DNA work with organisations from varying sectors and across a wide range of projects including user research, UX, visual design, and development.
Each year, DNA works with the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) to create the Wellington Advent Calendar—celebrating a Wellington-style Christmas and promoting businesses within the local area.
DNA collaborates with WREDA to develop the theme, works with an illustrator, and implements the design in advance of launch on December 1st.
The site was built as a React app which pulls the Advent content from the CMS in a headless CMS architecture. To handle all the interaction between React and the CMS, the site uses the new SilverStripe 4 GraphQL module. This architecture means that from year-to-year, DNA are able to re-use the CMS functionality controlling dates and deals, and re-skin the React app to suit the specific theme and design for the year.
The CMS also allows the client to upload Advent Calendar content early and provides visibility of campaign statistics including the number of vouchers that have been collected and redeemed. In order to create a fun and interactive experience, the calendar includes falling SVG snow and the ability to shake the globe.
DNA has been able to re-use the same architecture and CMS across multiple years despite major changes to the front-end design. For the client, the ability to simply re-create and re-skin the calendar from year-to-year offers a relatively low-cost approach to producing campaigns that deliver strong results.
The 2018 Advent Calendar had over 90,000 deals claimed.