What Tebay and Gloucester Services are for travellers, Rheged Centre is for visitors to Cumbria: it’s about showing off the best of a place, but also celebrating the things other people bring to that place.
It has a hugely diverse offering (including live theatre streaming, 3-D cinema, gallery spaces, fashion and outdoor retail, three different food and drink areas and children’s activities to name a few), and as a result our first task was to answer the question: ‘what is Rheged?’. Clarity was needed for staff as well as new and existing visitors.
Our solution was to distill Rheged Centre down into four main categories, which acted as a simple shorthand: Arts/Food/Play/Shops. This shorthand enabled new visitors to understand at a glance the types of things they could expect to find on a day out at Rheged.
It also helped simplify the architecture for an overhaul to the website …
Homepage as box office
As Rheged Centre means many different things to many different people, we wanted to create a unique user experience that reflected this. It was identified that a key landing page for many of the sites existing users was the ‘what’s on?’ page, however, it was also one of the least interesting/inspiring pages on the site.
Our solution was to combine these two issues into one idea: a homepage that acted as a flexible box office, that could be customised to suit the needs of each individual user. In order to achieve this, we created a question that could be constructed in hundreds of different combinations. It’s default setting was ‘What’s On at Rheged Today?’.
As an example, a parent wanting ideas for days out during half-term might choose to ask the question: ‘Childrens’ Activities at Rheged This Half Term?’. As soon as the question is re-constructed, so are the tiles displayed underneath, creating a bespoke homepage suited to the individual user’s needs.
Integration with a new booking engine meant that without leaving the homepage, and with a single tap, a user could be purchasing tickets for an upcoming event–a huge leap forward from the existing site.