9 November 2014 was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Airbnb marked the occasion by releasing a short animated film, “Wall and Chain”, telling the story of two former border guards from East and West Germany who met through a chance encounter via Airbnb in 2012.
The film runs on it’s own Airbnb microsite, belonganywhere.com. With two weeks to go before the launch date design and scope of the site was complete, but development had not yet started. We were able to step in at very short notice and get to work on development, pulling a strong team onto the project to get the work completed in time.
With such tight timescales and a deadline that could not be moved, the pressure was really on. The film is very poignant and beautifully done so it was important to make sure that the site was able to do it justice. Close working with the Airbnb team meant that when some features proved too ambitious for the time available, it was easy to discuss this and re-plan the scope.
The site is simple, only one page, but extremely visual. There was little room for change and re-interpretation in turning the detailed mock ups into functioning site. The function had to support the strong graphic design and make user experience easy and seamless.
The main technical challenge was that the site is multilingual with English as the default language and German or French served depending on the geolocation of the user. There is also the ability to change the language via the site menu. For each language the main text, event text, logos and buttons change across the whole site. Our solution used a combination of our custom-meta boxes and some further bespoke development to pull in the correct language across the page, enabling us to fulfil their specific requirements in the timescales available.
The site went live in time for the anniversary and has been extremely well received in the media. We even get a mention in the site credits!