The Challenge


Briefed to discover were the existing customer experience was failing and develop a new strategy with a focus on increasing ticket sales, footfall and engagement. 

My Role

I worked as lead user research and UX designer together with a full project team of Project manager, graphic designer, front end and back end developers. I led the initial research stage, carrying out empathy research with internal stakeholders and zoo customers and running a customer journey mapping workshop with internal stakeholders and colleagues.

The resulting report set the tone for idea generation.



Key insights from research included: 

  • Failure to adequately promote quality content such as enclosure webcams
  • Failure to engage customers during and after their visit
  • Disillusionment when events featured on the website were not available during visits 
  • A lack of engagement with customers who visit the zoo on a regular basis
  • A poor user experience for online ticket booking

The Approach

Making animals the stars

Engaging content was used to make animals the main attraction. Copy, imagery and the web cams were make easily accessible using a redesigned information architecture and used to appeal to customers regardless of age. 

Planning your day

I was front and centre in creating a planning experience that captured key information (party, transport, date of visit) and provided a personalised event plan, provided travel options/directions and a personalised plan with details of the day's events and calculated discounts for tickets. This led seamlessly to an improved ticket purchase experience. 

Enriching the visit 

After considering "planning" came "the visit", focusing on the experience within the zoo and beyond. We defined and designed a dedicated app to provide information as you navigated the zoo, with QR codes on enclosure notices unlocking content. Amongst this content were personalised photocards, with customers encouraged to share via social media, thus extending the reach of the zoo to new audiences. 

The Outcome

Increased Conversion

25% increase in online ticket sales

Increased Traffic

2.7 million visitors in first year post release