Colchester Zoo, originally known as Stanway Hall Park Zoo, first opened on the 2nd June 1963, and is currently the 11th best in the world. It homes around 260 species such as Komodo Dragons, Meerkats, Lemars, Giraffes and Elephants.
Who is their target audience?
In general, their audience is mainly families, especially those with younger children or generally anyone interested in visiting the animals. A wide variety of people all ages visit the Zoo, but their website would particularly be aimed for anyone needing to find out more information. For instance, opening times, prices, and viewing which species are there.
User Experience- what they are doing well
As shown from the landing page, the website is clear and not cluttered at all, which means that it is easy to find what information you want.
2. Quick and Easy Navigation
There is a wide variety of sub-sections to further view. When you scroll your mouse over each navigation tab at the top, the headings come up automatically. This allows for the user to quickly be able to search for what they need, rather than having to click each time or be sent to another page.
Not only do they have the main image at the top displaying what information they want users to be drawn to first, but when scrolling down the site, there are seperated boxes with pictures also. These change automatically after a certain period of time. This means that the user can view other important information and events in a clear and concise way.
User Experience- what they could improve
1. More about animals on landing page
Although displaying the main events on the landing page is an effective promotional method (as customers may not know about them), there could be some images based on their most popular animals. With the animals being the primary purpose of visiting the zoo, having a picture linked to this part of the website could provide even more ease of use- rather than them having to navigate seperately to find it.
Academic Link- Eye Tracking Study
The website would typically follow the Z-pattern, which is where the user views all 4 quadrants- the top left and right, and bottom left and right. This is because it is a more simple design with distinguished boxes of information, meaning more of the content is likely to be read rather than skipped.
Overall, the Colchester Zoo website is simple and easy to use. It also provides a wide variety of information when navigating to the other areas of the site, which will allow for users to easily find what they are looking for. For instance experiences such as being a zookeeper for the day, a map of the zoo, and the shop where you can purchase e-tickets and adopt animals. It is not too cramped with information and links to the social media will allow for people to view more posts, images and views on the zoo.
Colchester Zoo (2017) ‘Hello! Welcome to Colchester Zoo.’ [Online] <https://www.colchester-zoo.com/> [Accessed 25th October 2017]
Hernandez, A., & Resnick, M. L. (2013). Placement of Call to Action Buttons for Higher Website Conversion and Acquisition An Eye Tracking Study. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 57, No. 1, pp. 1042-1046). SAGE Publications.