One of the things we liked most about Nile is that they weren’t afraid to tell us that some of our ideas probably wouldn’t work or it wasn’t a good idea to pursue them.
Edinburgh Zoo is Scotland’s second most popular tourist attraction (after Edinburgh Castle), welcoming more than 600,000 visitors each year. The zoo team approached Nile to redesign the online ticketing journey.
As Jon-Paul Orsi, Digital Manager at Edinburgh Zoo explained, “We recognised that people are booking on the way to an attraction or when they are waiting in the lobby. Customers used to book days in advance, so this represented an important change for us as an organisation. We were very conscious that we could drastically improve the user experience and, in the process, increase conversion.”
As a charity, Edinburgh Zoo also wanted to improve the conversion of donations and gift aid as well as ticket sales.
“We wondered how we could present those asks in an engaging way, rather than just using a redundant checkbox.”
What we did
The zoo team had a clear destination. A mobile-first, simple, user-friendly customer journey that increased sales, included donations and gift aid, and recycled traffic at the end of the journey through social media, newsletters and the mobile app.. We recommended a complete UX review to stress test the team’s prototype and ideas.
A thorough contextual review established that most visitors were unaware of the mobile app. And, online and offline experiences felt worlds apart.
Our insight showed the proposed end-to-end customer experience was as passive as window shopping. Visitors who booked online in advance were still required to queue on arrival. A lack of contextual guidance made the journey within the prototype confusing and was likely to cause significant drop-offs. In other words, there was a lot of potential waiting to be unlocked.
Going beyond the zoo’s original UX brief, we provided recommendations that reflected the full digital landscape. We were able to find gaps in previous thinking and highlight design flaws that were likely to reduce conversion rate. The Edinburgh Zoo team were delighted with the outcome.
We didn’t want someone who came along and just said yes. They challenged some of our ideas and regularly came up with creative suggestions of their own. In terms of a partner, Nile was reliable and invested in the project – we felt like we had their full attention, they came with ideas and they really worked to understand what we needed