Curbell Plastics

January 2016

B2B eCommerce overhaul for leading plastics manufacturer.

Based out of New York, North America’s largest plastics manufacturer chose to work with ecentricarts to revitalize their site. The aim was to serve their customers and sales team, two demographics that were painfully underserved with the legacy site.

Curbell was my first project within ecentricarts’ team structure. As the first-line front-end developer on the project, this made Curbell the largest site I’ve been heavily involved with to date. With two major table structures to work out (incredibly detailed Plastic Properties and flexible Compare Materials), highly detailed product filter and navigation interactions to handle, and an entire ecom flow to build (for front end, anyway) from scratch, Curbell was a pretty significant challenge. It was also my first go-round with the Foundation framework (or any front-end framework, for that matter) and Kentico, ecentricarts’ preferred .NET CMS (also first time diving into ASP and C#, though I didn’t handle much app development).

The site held many technical challenges (huge data tables, developing for a new CMS, massive performance concerns for 30k+ product SKUs, challenging responsive reflows, etc.) as well as professional ones (working within a design/dev/project managed team, detailed project planning meetings, soft launching Agile dev process within the studio, etc.) that made Curbell an incredibly important and successful project, not only for myself but ecentricarts as a studio in the larger sense.

Performance from the outset - Curbell’s Homepage features some pretty heavy imagery that needed to be showcased without sacrificing quality or load time. Some post-initial-load tricks and delayed loading of other content set the tone for performance work throughout the site.
Getting Granular - The breadth of Curbell’s materials and product line can be exhausting, even to professional plastics buyers. A big task of the project was to make a (completely custom) product filtering system with quick returns (thanks to Angular and a custom SKU query API), easy-to-use filters, and relevant accurate results.
Plastic Properties - The site’s heaviest data table requires an astounding amount of information, with variable rows and columns, to be usable on every device. For the density of data involved, horizontal scrolling was the go-to method to keep the table usable on a phone while avoiding hidden content.
Compare Materials - A big feature of Curbell’s research and shopping focus for the site was the ability to compare not only products, but manufacturing materials employed. The complex table required flexibility for columns (1 to 3 could be used) and handling different cells with varied sizes and styles of content. It all had to work for mobile, too.

For further reading on the entire project, take a look at ecentricarts’ case study the Curbell project and Kentico’s profile and case study on the site.

All the technical involvement and achievements for Curbell didn’t mean the site was a drag, however. Have a look around the site and take some time to play with the animated interactions throughout. I certainly had fun building them.

Visit Curbell Plastics’ site