Spring is a time of renewal, certainly in the case of agency Web sites. In the last few weeks, the industry has hatched a series of new and interesting takes on what an agency site should do. Now, one of the top digital creative shops, the Barbarian Group, has come out with its own entry. If you want to trace the evolution of interactive design, this is a good place to start. The Barbarians are best known as the shop that built Subservient Chicken, and one that made its name off Flash microsites. But lately, top Barbarian Benjamin Palmer (shown here) has been sounding the alarm that the days of empty animation are over. He and Anomaly’s Johnny Vulcan are credited with co-developing the term “branded utility” to describe ad stuff that’s actually, you know, useful to people. The Barbarian Group site goes in this direction by putting employee-written blogs right on the homepage. It also features a Barbaripedia that is a compilation of the shop’s various philosophies and beliefs. And the employees get pages with links to their personal projects and bios. This seems smart. An agency is its people. I’m told many agencies don’t like to feature their employees for fear they’ll be poached. But if that’s what’s keeping your best and brightest staying put, frankly, you’re screwed. Which of the new agency Web sites do you think is best—Barbarian Group, Grey, Modernista!, Publicis & Hal Riney, or R/GA? Vote after the jump.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey