Line art logo of The Shops at Santa Anita

Decoupled Web: Speed and Innovation for a Quick Build

This site presented a fantastic opportunity to build a decoupled site (decoupled explained here). The timeline was tight so we went with a two-phased approach to the problem: first, build something basic and fast. This first phase was a single-page site that could communicate basic information about the mall, like hours of operation and so on. To save time in development, we eschewed the content management system and instead went with a Google spreadsheet as a back end, coupled with a Next.js front end, with the spreadsheet’s cells functioning as content fields pulled into the front-end design. 

laptop and mobile devices with comps of new website for The Shops at Santa Anita
desktop layout for store directory, the food court, and events and promotions


Phase Two: Decoupled with Next-Drupal

After successfully launching this temporary site just in time for the old site’s January 1 shutdown, we launched Phase Two of the project, continuing with decoupled solution using Next.js but with a Drupal CMS back end to make the site's more sophisticated content easy to update (read more about "Next-Drupal"). This Next-Drupal solution allows us to make updates to the design without worrying about rebuilding the backend. It's flexible, powerful and fast. See for yourself!

mobile displays of event landing, amenities, and store pages.
Aerial image of The Shops at Santa Anita mall.

Decoupled = Flexibility and Growth 

Phase Two culminated in a May launch, timed for the mall’s Mother’s Day promotion. Like the temporary site, the final product is lightning fast thanks to its decoupled architecture while also capable of weathering the sort of seasonal surges in traffic that a website for a major retailer can expect. Being decoupled also means that as the site's design needs to grown and change, it can do so without a rebuild of the backend database in Drupal. Flexible, useful, and beautiful, and able to handle all the holiday season throws at it. 

pattern of logo
Mobile comp with map of mail zoomed in.