Latest Project: Defense Distributed Website Design

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

Technology is a force all its own.  With an unstoppable and rolling momentum, technology is creating the outlook of the future with each new update and every prototype. Every new iteration of a product brings with it a new wave of questions and a shift in perspective as we are guided into more wild and complex territories by the forward motion of technology. It’s our belief that technology can be slowed but not stopped.

ddWe were recently brought on to do the website redesign for our latest client, Defense Distributed, who is at the center of a controversial development in technology.  Defense Distributed has been in the news lately for its 3D printing plans for firearms. The company made their printing plans open source and accessible to the public. While a point of controversy, the company’s actions have created a platform for discussions and opinions of both supporters and objectors. Defense Distributed recently voluntarily complied with the United States Department of State to remove its download links for the printing plans while the government investigates if a violation has occurred.

The design challenge we faced for the company’s new website was to strategically create a way to easily navigate the website while still including the large amounts of content in an organized way.  The site includes a huge list of press links and videos that explore both sides of the 3D printing issue as well as a developer’s blog, newsletter, and manifesto.  We built the site around a concept of simplicity.  Working with the Defense Distributed team, we made design choices that would highlight the information and make it as transparent as possible to get the latest information.  Our goal as website designers was to create a site that would allow all visitors the best user experience including easy and functional access to all the media material provided.

We know that this type of technology raises many questions about multiple areas of innovation and individuality as well as the intersection of technology and laws.  We want to know what you think of these new developments in technology.  How do you feel about the growing trend of 3D printing? What developments do you see for these future technologies?  What do you think of the crypto anarchist philosophy in the tech community?  Let us know your comments.