Website Development

One of my major projects over the past year has been the development of a new consumer-facing website for the West Coast Wilderness Railway.

With around 50% of all sales made directly via WCWR’s website, it was clear to management that a new website was required. The old website’s design limited the full description of products and services, particularly as new ones were added. It also offered limited engagement for WCWR’s active social media community and the booking interface was difficult to navigate, particularly for older customers.

A detailed brief was developed, detailing the customer journey it needed to facilitate, needing toquickly impress and excite users about the WCWR experience before answering their questions and converting their interest to bookings.

  1. Impress – First impressions > What’s it like > Build trust > Worth my time? > Emotional connection
  2. Interest but with questions – Times, locations, Accommodation, Toilets, Food, Weather, Comfort, Price, Access, Social Proof.
  3. I want to book > How do I book > Which tour? > Which Carriage? > I need help – who do I ask?
The new West Coast Wilderness Railway features a bold contemporary design with video imagery of the Railway's heritage steam trains and visitor experiences
The new West Coast Wilderness Railway features a bold contemporary design with video imagery of the Railway’s heritage steam trains and visitor experiences

From evaluation of the former site and a range of situational and competitor analyses, I prepared a detailed brief covering objectives, performance targets, indicative wireframes, content plan and booking interface specifications.

Following a competitive tender process, we worked with Tasmanian company Handbuilt Creative who came up with a big, bold and appealing design using WCWR’s strong library of imagery and video.

The new West Coast Wilderness Railway website features a feed of the railway's Instagram content
The new West Coast Wilderness Railway website features a feed of the railway’s Instagram content

Working with copywriter Maura Bedlow and images by Hype TV, I developed bespoke content based on our plan and implemented it onto the website, while working with booking interface provider CustomLinc to create a user-friendly booking interface to assist customers navigate the range of tours, timetable and other options available. 

The result is a website that is a fitting online home for this leading tourism attraction on Tasmania’s west coast. While it is early days (it was only launched in mid-May), analytics are already showing some clear improvements over the previous site, with page views up 101%, average session duration up 11% and bounce rage down 87%. The new website has also played a key role in the successful Winter campaign.

Check it out at www.wcwr.com.au

News 'blog' pages work as landing pages, offering rich content for visitors to the site drawn by carefully targeted marketing campaigns.
News ‘blog’ pages work as landing pages, offering rich content for visitors to the site drawn by carefully targeted marketing campaigns.