Case Study: BBC website sees 10% increase in online ticket sales

BBC COUNTRYFILE LIVE WEBSITE REDESIGN

The BBC’s Countryfile Live is a four-day outdoor summer event that welcomes over 125,000 visitors. Activities range from live entertainment, food stalls to meeting the stars of the tv show.

The BBC approached London agency Brackets.digital to redesign the Countryfile Live website from the previous year with the objective of reducing bounce rates and increasing online ticket sales. 

  • Agency

    Brackets.digital

  • Client

    BBC

  • Responsibilites

    UX and UI design

  • Software

    Figma, Adobe XD, Photoshop

www.countyfilelive.com

The homepage is a place to explore, watch videos, read reviews and get excited.

With the summer* fast approaching city dwellers and their families are keen to get away to the countryside for a short break and the Countryfile Live event offers the perfect solution to their needs. 

*2019

BUSINESS OBJECTIVE

Reduce bounce rates by 10% from the previous year and increase online ticket sales by 15%. 

USER PROBLEM / NEED

Find an outdoor summer event away from the city with plenty to see and do. 

Countryfile Live artwork that would form the basis for the creative direction of the new website.

PROJECT SCOPE

Redesign existing website reflecting the creative direction of the new artwork.

What we aimed to deliver:

  • Responsive website with interactive map and client CMS.
  • Website optimised for mobile audiences. (50% of visitors)
  • Improved user experience and content strategy with focus on ticket sales, show features, star presenters, exhibitors and sponsors.
  • 2 separate micro-sites for show locations at Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. 
  • Simple navigation with ability to swap between show locations.
  • Search engine optimised.
UNDERSTAND THE EXPERIENCE

A Storyboard helps to understand the key moments in the user experience from landing on the website to purchasing a ticket.

It reveals emotions that users may be experiencing and issues that can be addressed later on.

Reviewing the storyboard (1 -5)

  1. City dwelling family watching BBC Countryfile on sunday evening.
  2. See promo for Countryfile Live and get excited for a family day out in the countryside.
  3. Visit website, interact with map and view activities.
  4. Buy tickets.
  5. Leave the city for a day out in the countryside at Countryfile Live!
USER RESEARCH

50% of visitors to Countryfile Live are city dwellers. The focus therefore is on a largely urban demographic of families, couples, seniors and their dogs*.

Countryfile targets people living in towns and cities who like to access the countryside from time to time but don’t actually live in it.

Predominantly white, many are affluent, pro-Brexiteers with interests in food, the environment and rural issues.

*Over 8% of visitors came with their canine pets in 2018. 

DEFINE USER GROUPS / USER PERSONAS

User groups act as a guide for design decisions and are critical in building a website that responds to their needs.

Based upon research supplied by our client we targeted first time visitors, returning customers and exhibitors.

USER STORIES

Having defined the projects’ users, we brainstormed user stories to determine what website tasks a user may want to accomplish.

User stories help to understand user needs, pain points, emotions and opportunities and how best to respond to them with website features.

Example user stories:

  • As a first time visitor I want to know what I can do at the show so that I can plan my day.
  • As a first time visitor I want to read reviews so that I can read experiences from other customers.
  • As a returning customer, I’d like to know what new attractions there are so that its worth my while coming.
  • As an exhibitor, I’d like a telephone number so that I can contact you.

Read more user stories

From the user stories we can summarise the needs of the user.

Key tasks that users need to perform:

  • Buy tickets.
  • View event map.
  • View show features/activities.
  • View ticket prices.
  • Sign up to newsletter.
  • Read user reviews.
  • View exhibitors.
  • Contact show organisers.
  • View latest news.
  • Connect via social media.
  • Share with friends.
  • View photos and videos from last year’s event.

Emotions that users need to feel when visiting website:

  • Confident.
  • Reassured.
  • Excited.
  • Trusting.
  • Eager to buy.
USER JOURNEYS

User journeys help to identify key website actions and what screens to focus on first.

The core user journey is defined first. It describes what the user needs to do in order to accomplish the primary goal of buying a ticket.

Core user journey actions:

  1. Landing page – User selects a venue for further information.
  2. Homepage – They interact with the map, view activities and read reviews.
  3. Features page – Browse activities in more detail.
  4. Tickets page – View ticket prices to get the best deal.
  5. Checkout – Ticket selection and purchasing dealt with by 3rd party.

We created wireframes based upon the core user journey to help communicate design ideas with stakeholders and developers.

Wireframes focus on:

  • Content – What is displayed.
  • StructureHow it is displayed.
  • HierarchySize of elements.
  • Functionality How elements work together. 

The initial wireframe shows early thoughts that are refined and developed as the project progresses.

Wireframe prototype for core user journey (Desktop)

With the wireframes completed we now have the framework and website layout in place. The next step is visual design.

Visual design is the look and feel of a website. It communicates a company’s brand, identity and voice.

The landing page is simple in design and offers two options to visit Blenheim Palace or Castle Howard.


Callouts (1 – 5):

  1. Clear CTAS – Green buttons to ‘Book tickets’ are most prominent with white buttons to ‘Discover more’.
  2. Instagram feed – Keeps the website up to date with fun imagery. Allows users to interact with the brand.
  3. Mailing list – Allows Countryfile Live to reconnect with site users. Essential for marketing and promotions.
  4. Sponsors – Displaying sponsors that users may care about makes a positive connection between the user and the Countryfile brand.
  5. Footer – Page links, contact details and social links provide key information to users.

The homepage serves as a welcome page with video, interactive maps and reviews.

We inform, excite and direct users to other pages with subtle hints to buy tickets.


Callouts (1 – 9):

  1. Header – Yellow bar serves as a ticket promotion and constant reminder with ‘Book tickets’ CTA top right for best engagement.
  2. Video and hero – Video promo summarises the show in 30 secs which targets users with little time. Hero image shows venue and stars and connects with show fans.
  3. Vertical navigation – Attracts more attention than horizontal navigation. Stacked navigation with larger buttons was thought favorable to horizontal navigation with smaller cluttered links.
  4. Castle Howard – Provides quick links to alternative venue.
  5. Explore the park – Interactive map enables users to browse activities. Appeals to the interests of target audiences identified in user research: ‘See 50 activities’, ‘Dog friendly event’ and ‘Food lovers unite‘.
  6. Instagram feed Keeps the website up to date with fun imagery. Allows users to interact with the brand.
  7. Mailing list – Allows Countryfile Live to reconnect with site users. Essential for marketing and promotions.

Show features provide an overview of what there is to see and do on the day.


Callouts (1 – 9):

  1. Quick links to venues – Visible to users on all pages indicating where they are and provides quick link to alternative venue.
  2. Hero – High res image gets the user’s attention, connects with them positively and entices them to explore the website.
  3. Grid/Map view – Alternative methods of displaying the same information. Grid view appeals to users that want to scan pages quickly and map view for those users with time to explore.
  4. Activity tiles – Provide quick links to further information for those users in a rush.

Show features map view appeals to users with time to explore.


Callouts (1 – 3):

  1. Grid/Map view – Alternative methods of displaying the same information. Grid view appeals to users that want to scan pages quickly and map view for those users with time to explore.
  2. and 3. Explore the park – Interactive map enables users to browse activities. Appeals to the interests of target audiences identified in user research: ‘See 50 activities’, ‘Dog friendly event’ and ‘Food lovers unite‘.

Improved ticket page layout and hierarchy from previous year.


Callouts (1 – 4):

  1. Single tickets/Packages – Displaying separate pages for ticketing options reduces the content on each page and makes them easier to read. Tabulated information for single tickets with clear content hierarchy enables the user to more easily scan information.
  2. Book Tickets/View Packages – CTAs are repeated at the top and bottom of each page for those viewing on smaller screens such as mobile. Book tickets goes directly to checkout provided by 3rd party.
  3. Tabulated and colour coded ticket information – Good UI design promotes scanning of information and readability.
  4. Tabulated data on mobile – Tables are difficult to display on smaller screens. I chose to duplicate table headings so that the data would stack in a single column.

Ticket packages help price sensitive customers to save money.


Callouts (1 – 4):

  1. Single tickets/Packages – Ticket packages utilises information cards with glossy lifestyle images that connect with the user.
  2. and 3. Information Card – Each card displays money saving advice and booking and further information buttons.
  3. Package details – For those first time or price sensitive users that research their options before buying.
  4. Other packages – Cross selling packages assist the user’s buying decision.

Location information informs but also directs users to buy which is both the goal of the user and website

Callouts (1 – 5):

  1. and 2. Buttons both directly and indirectly encourage buying decisions.
  2. Book tickets – Consistent placement and style makes it easy for the user to spot and use.
  3. Map – Informs the user for those making decision of whether venue is accessible for a day out.
  4. Travel options – Uses icons to improve visual interest and grab users attention.
  5. Save on tickets – Appeals to price sensitive users and gives users something to view after reading page.

Faqs provide answers to common questions, improve user experience, help users navigate the website and can save money on customer service


Callouts (1 – 4):

  1. FAQ categories – With more than 10 entries categories help users to find answers to their problems.
  2. More help – Links to help users navigate website.
  3. Accordion – Reduces page length and minimises scrolling.
  4. Save on tickets – Appeals to price sensitive users and gives users something to view after reading page.

Sponsors build credibility for the event and nurture positive associations with the user.

Callouts (1 – 3):

  1. Clear content hierarchy – Makes information easy to scan.
  2. Logos – Immediately recognisable to the user.
  3. Sponsor info panel – Like accordions, saves vertical space and prevents scrolling.
PROTOTYPING

Prototypes test user interaction and establish a more realistic experience with the website to encourage useful stakeholder feedback.

Although, not quite a complete website, the prototype tests the core user journey from selecting a venue to purchasing a ticket.

THE OUTCOME

Online ticket sales increased by 10% from the previous year and bounce rates by a similar amount.

Although there are many factors that contribute to a rise in ticket sales (E.g. Online promotions, targeted email marketing), a website that focuses on the needs of the user and assists in their buying decisions can but serve to improve its success rate.

Next year I believe the website can grow and deliver a higher ROI by concentrating on:

  • Improved engagement with younger audiences with online games, shareable apps and fun content such as giffys on social media.
  • Increasing the amount of user generated content in the form of videos of the event and photos.
  • Live online Q and A sessions with the presenters.
  • Competitions to increase engagement with the website.
  • Reduced ticket prices for returning customers.
  • User generated content for a food section on the website.

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