Manning park is a family friendly resort that’s active throughout the four seasons with plenty of activities to do. With all the recent renovations, they were looking to update the brand and website to provide a modern experience.
A brand new website for Manning Park along with a fresh brand identity (logo, typography, colours). This new website combined the previous summer and winter websites into one experience for customers to explore the different activities and events going on.
My work involving content placement and user journey mapping made it easier to navigate the site and purchase tickets/passes for all activities. Along with many other changes, I streamlined the flow for booking lessons.
Overall, the Manning Park staff was very happy with their new website. Having the improved user experience along with the new branding gave their online presence the uplift they needed to showcase their unique character.
The two personas created have some similarities, but there are a few differences that influence the type of experience they are looking for.
To improve the user experience of the new website, I performed an heuristics evaluation to compliment the insights gained from the discovery workshop. This helped influence what content could be removed and what content was missing. I also identified different types of user flows that accommodate the two personas and their different needs. Through the many decisions I made, I wanted to highlight 5 major decisions I made below.
5 enhancements made to improve the user experience
Studying several ski resort websites, big and small, I noticed a trend in the information architecture going more towards grouping sections based on tasks rather than departments. The top-level navigation was going toward more action-driven words that focus on a customer-driven experience such as PLAN and EXPLORE.
Analyzing the different types of content on the website, I decided on 4 simple categories that provide clarity and help customers navigate to the information they are looking for. Defining these 4 categories created the foundation to group rest of the content and structure the site.
Manning Park Resort is a part of the E. C. Mannings National Park and therefore, the website had lots of information about the national park. Scanning all the content, I realized that two distinct groups appeared. Information people want to know when planning the trip vs information before starting the trip.
Two types of content people want to know
Talking with the Manning Park staff, they had mentioned that it wasn't the easiest task to find a specific page since the navigation menu contained so many links.
Continuing the trend of task-driven organization and using the feedback about the current experience, I wanted to simplify the site structure and make it easy to find what you're looking. All content about the mountain and resort fits into category 2 - Information needed before starting the trip and can go under 'Explore Manning'.
Focusing on a task-driven navigation structure, I simplified the sitemap to make it easy to find the information you want. All content relating to the mountain and resort was grouped into "Category 2 - Information needed before starting the trip" and moved under the new Explore Manning heading.
Within the current website, similar activities were shown under different sections of the website. Alpine/nordic tickets was under Passes & Products along with RV passes while other paid activities such as polar coaster tubing was only in the Activities section.
To simplify it for visitors, I added all paid activities under the renamed 'Tickets and Passes' section and moved RV Passes under accommodation.
Since there was no main page for tickets and passes, I also created a simple page layout that shows all the different activity tickets you can pre-purchase before arriving at the resort.
Manning Park has lots of different activities and offer a variety of different lessons to help visitors have an enjoyable day on the hill. The old lessons homepage showed two options with small links only. The important information was on sub-pages which made it hard to understand and compare different options.
I started mapping all the different options under lessons to find what organizational structure suits it best.
Since pricing depends on age, the sub-pages were separated by different age ranges. These age categories were added directly to the lessons homepage to reduce the number of clicks it takes to find the information you want.
After choosing a category, they are greeted with an overview of all lessons types available right at the top. With all these changes, understanding what lessons are available and which one to book becomes much more simple.
Arguably, the homepage is the most important part of any website. The goal of the homepage is to attract people and draw them in to continue exploring the rest of the website. You want to showcase the highlights without being too overwhelming.
The previous homepage wasn’t showcasing all the great offerings and escape to nature vibe they were seeking.
By thoroughly understanding what the staff at Manning Park wanted for their new experience and using the UX principles I’ve learned over the years, I was able to develop a tightly woven story and provide a smooth experience for users.
Once the content and structure for wireframes was approved, the visual designer focused on branding/identity shown through some of the designs below. For Manning Park, this website became a great marketing tool to show the wonderful features and ‘escape to nature’ vibe they wanted to provide for their visitors
I had a lot of fun working on this project as an avid snowboarder. Working with a team helped for bouncing ideas off each other and brainstorming new and creative ones.