Could this be the best Zoo website in the world?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 | By atomix
Zoos SA cross device design

We think so. Even if we did make it ourselves. And throughout this post, we’ve listed a few of the cool features we used, starting below. Read on to discover more plus the story behind the new sites…


Cool feature #1 – Today at the Zoo – swipe with a mouse (!) or finger to change days

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When we tendered for the redevelopment of Zoos SA’s three websites, it was as fans of the not-for-profit organisation. We had a firsthand, strong understanding of its offering and its potential for digital engagement. We’ve also been keen supporters of the Orangutan Foundation International for several years, so the opportunity to redevelop the Zoos SA’s sites meshed nicely with our own values.

 

Cool feature #2 – Animal image gallery on every page – not just pretty, they’re functional

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We’re pleased to say that after months of strategy, scoping, designing, developing, testing and tweaking, last Friday all the three websites went live! It was quite an achievement because of the huge scale of the three websites. Careful planning and great teamwork got this project over the line to a point where we can truly be proud of our work. Both the Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo websites had distinctive objectives, along with Zoos SA, as the overall parent brand for the Zoo Network. Building three websites under the one roof isn’t an easy feat, it presented a number of challenges. But fortunately, with WordPress and our previous experience with Multi-Sites, we steered our way through and came out the other side with a great front-end and administration interface!

 

Cool feature #3 – Mega menus – dropdown images and copy make navigation easier

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For most people, the Adelaide and Monarto sites will be their first point of call. A key objective identified within our Digital Strategy for the Zoo was to build engagement with our audience. If we could help people emotionally connect with the animals – and deliver a user experience that was silky smooth (this goes without saying) – we could drive visitations in the real world, increase their membership and increase financial support, such as ‘animal adoptions’ and donations.

 

Cool feature #4 – Easy switching between the 3 sites

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The Zoos SA-branded site had different objectives. These were to increase knowledge of the organisation’s work and, as a consequence, drive supporter conversions – that is, getting people not to just visit the zoos, but to commit to them financially.


Cool feature #5 – Accordions and hover state buttons – little things to keep sites looking simple, while delivering big on info

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The new Adelaide and Monarto sites are now ‘home’ to many of the zoos’ 250 species of exotic and native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. Each one will be able to have its own page with information about its species, conservation, personal bios for some of the critters and photo galleries. The home page of each site updates to the day’s scheduled activities plus coming events and the latest news. Visitors can also pre-purchase admission and animal experiences tickets online.


Cool feature #6 – Animals filter – easily find that near threatened, South American species with a diet of aquatic invertebrates

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Over on the Zoos SA site, visitors can learn about conservation, read stories about the organisation’s work, explore learning opportunities for educators and others.

 

Naturally, all three sites are responsive, optimised for mobile, tablets and desktops. And, so importantly, the navigation between the sites is now seamless. Visitors are able to easily navigate back and forward between them, while a unique brand colour identifies each site.

 

Cool feature #7 – Information pop-up on the home page – take the fast option or see it disappear once you start to scroll

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We’re pleased to have been awarded the project, but it doesn’t stop just here, there are lots more updates on the horizon and some fantastic phase 2 ideas ready to get underway. That is, after we take a quick excursion with the team to see the Orangutans! Jump onto the links below and try them for yourself… And (if you’ll allow us to push our own* conservation values here), think about financially supporting the organisation. They do brilliant work!

 

Cool feature #8 – And finally check out our cool mobile menu

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There are plenty more hidden gems throughout the site, just like the integration of company logos, alongside the animal they sponsor…

 

http://www.adelaidezoo.com.au

http://www.monartozoo.com.au

http://www.zoossa.com.au

 

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