I have always been a car guy and one of my earliest memories is of a bright yellow 1964 Mustang my dad’s friend owned and took to car shows around Pittsburgh. I always loved the design of that car and it has gone through a lof of design changes over the years to arrive at this years incarnation. Firstborn has created the site celebrating the new 2010 Mustang and with the economy and car sales that seem to be headed south faster than a Lynyrd Skynyrd tour bus this sales year has obvious importance for the Ford brand and the Mustang model.
The first thing you notice is that the sites design breaks the traditional online car design structure of a white background with an over retouched hero photos and numerous small info boxes underneath it. This sites goes with the full bleed background image that makes transitions between the content more interesting than watching a loader bar crawl across the screen. I also like the site navigation that is a split navigation that has drop downs on top and all the options exposed on the bottom of the page.
The site has the standard content like photo galleries, model features and even webisodes but the most interesting part of the site for me is the Customizer that isn’t the ‘build your own’ feature that has been on every car site for as long as their have been car sites. It is instead an experience that looks to capitalize on the trend we have seen for years from brands like Scion where you can take the base model and through paint and after market accessories create a truly unique look for your car. This is the first time that I can remember seeing that type of customization encouraged and featured by an American car maker on one of their showcase models. The creation experience on the site has a lot of options so you can create the look you want and then save it the community of over 60,000 other creations. I expected that functionality for a site like this but I didn’t expect to see a link to a car summary where they list out the accessories you have chosen and links to the manufacturers so can create your masterpiece in real life. It will be interesting to see if this new focus and encouragement of individuality will take hold in this bastion of classic and traditional car design and culture. Check a parking lot near you in the not too distant future for the answer.