Jennifer Egan

experimentation + immersion

Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection. A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine.

Her new novel, Manhattan Beach, was published in October 2017.

Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 1

The Challenge

Create a website that extends the novel’s tone and mystery

For her previous book, A Visit from the Goon Squad, we built a site designed by Noah Scalin. For her new book, Manhattan Beach, Jenny was interested in collaborating with the same team again. The site for Goon Squad had an unconventional presentation for the time and featured a component that was an extension of the experience of the book. Jenny was hoping to take that idea and build on it for Manhattan Beach.

Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 2
Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 3
Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 4
breaking the ocean surface

Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 5

The Solution

Dive below the surface

Noah had a vision of a website set on the open ocean, where the user was able to dive below the surface and discover…something. We had no idea what that would look like—or even what parts of that meant, but loved it. The only way to figure out where that idea could go was to experiment and play. Then bring it all back to Noah and Jenny to hammer the possibilities into a refined concept and experience.

Experimentation and Technical Research

What’s even possible?

Our experience developing brands and visual identity systems really came in handy here. Exploring and honing visual themes involves a lot of research, gathering inspiration and experimenting with what can work together to make a whole. It was kind of a new idea for us to take that process and apply it to an interactive experience in a browser. Not only were we investigating possibilities for a visual system that represent the feel of the book, we were also investigating ways to make that system move and even allow the user to move within it.

Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 6
Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 7
Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 8

Plunging into CSS3 Perspective

this is going to get technical...

So much experimentation and testing. Learning how to nest perspective containers for advanced scrolling effects, translating z-axis offsets into vertical positions, optimizing animated detritus and lighting effects in canvas elements—this project pushed our limits of front-end development. We feel the results are immersive and engaging, so well worth the effort.

Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 9
Jennifer Egan Home page - Screen 10
Jennifer Egan's site on a laptop screen


  • Digital strategy
  • UX design
  • Wireframing
  • Content strategy
  • Information architecture
  • Visual Design
  • Experimental Front-End Development
  • Development
Dig into our process.