Brighton Palace Pier has a great heritage but at the same time stays modern and relevant
Having joined the team as a service designer my main task was to identify 'touchpoints' where customers will interact directly with the Pier's products and services.
Logging on to the company's website
Observing and researching users/customers
Prototyping and testing a proposed new service
While the website still needs to be upgraded, the user research, personas design and setting up analytics into the website helps us to understand better our users/customers to improve marketing strategies.
The Pier's website provides all the information that customers need to know before they come to the Pier
The Pier with its new website wants to connect further afield with a new generation.
In a way to understand better our customers and their behaviour, what they want, and if what we want them to see actually works,
I set-up Google analytics on the Pier's website, conducting a qualitative reserach and doing an heuristic evaluation. It soon became apparent that even if the website has all the information about the offer, it is not easy to find it; also every page could be optimized to promote the latest promotions and events.
Brighton Palace Pier has a high footfall of approximately 5 million visitors a year from around the world, and is one of the UK's most iconic seaside pleasure destinations.
Different people have different needs and expectations, I knew that I needed to get into the minds of different customers, to truly understand their behaviour and priorities when they visit our website to plan a visit, book a table or hire one of the venues.
To understand the different needs and expectations of customers, I create different persona profiles of typical or atypical visitors, to help us understand patterns in our research, which synthesises the types of people we seek to design for.
Brighton Palace Pier gives their visitors different options -bars and restaurant, fast food, snacks, arcades, VR, and rides- and also the possibility to hire one of its venues.
Looking at the data and talking to customers made it clear that a lot of people were having a hard time through the website and finding the information needed. The user's navigation must be easy to navigate through, rather than getting lost in the numerous pages on the website.
Interating through a series of prototypes I arrived at a dropdown menu bar navigation by: creating categories (navigational elements) and subcategories (subpages); Choosing a generic name that all visitors could know what we have, all navigational elements will display subpages links when users hover over the tab in order to prioritize consistency, avoid deep navigation and numerous of clicks.
After looking at how users navigate the website, it became clear that the information on some pages could be shown on just one page by using animated pictures that would be activated when customers hover over the picture and, when necessary, adopt dropdown contenitor to show extra information when users click in the box, rather than open a hole new page in a way to avoid deep navigation.
Bars & Restaurant
Some customers want to come to the Pier because of the restaurant or bar, not because of the attractions. The need of the restaurant’s visitors is different than the needs of the visitors coming to an amusment park so the Ux & UI must be different.
Restaurant and bars subpages should be treated in a different way to Brighton Palace Pier's main theme, adding the possibility of booking a table and show more information to hire a venue. Also using a subdomain to avoid symbols as ( / ) will help customers remember the website address and share the website address.