The Lincolnshire Show is a celebration of rural Lincolnshire with an eclectic mix of breathtaking entertainment, food, shopping, music, horticulture and farm life. There are country shows up and down the UK and we set ourselves the challenge of producing ‘best in show’ with the new site amongst the competition.
With highlights including acrobatic stunts from the Kangaroo Kid, fairground rides, music, gardening exhibitions and farmyard animals, competitions, displays and countryside pursuits - it was important that the new website prepared visitors for what will be another colourful, exciting and energetic show!
One key requirement for the website in particular was to encourage families and young children to not only enjoy the show but also to learn about country life via the website. We’ve tailored the website design towards creating an inviting, family-friendly atmosphere and also created the ‘kids zone’ complete with its own theme and interactive game. The Kids Zone features its own illustrated map that uses more child-friendly language to explain what’s happening on show day and the interactive game is a fantastically engaging educational tool for those younger visitors to the website. On top of this the website also has other features such as a blog and online ticket sales.
The best of responsive website design
The new Lincolnshire Show website is a fantastic example of what can be achieved with responsive website design techniques. The intricately illustrative, colourful and fun design responds beautifully to changing environments ensuring that it is perfectly optimised for desktop and mobile devices across the board (without dumbing down any of the content to save space).
As the website reformats itself for a smaller device all of the key functions are still on offer and at retina quality. This includes the beautifully illustrated, interactive map (utilising the Google map API), the superbly simple filtering system for browsing the show’s events, pop-up galleries, and an interactive drag-and-drop educational game for the kids that handles the transition from desktop to tablet smoothly. On top of this we’ve also catered for those with extra large displays by optimising certain areas of the site including the large, full-width banner to take advantage of the space on offer (big screen users are often ignored but we want everyone to see the site in the best light!).
Improving usability and management
The unique events manager system that we’ve built for the Showground team ensures that, when a new event is added, details are automatically added to various other sections of the site, including it’s location across the showground and on the overall event schedule, to make for easier editing (and consistent content) across the site as a whole. The ‘What’s On’ section also includes a fantastic (and unusual) use of the Google maps API which allows visitors to pan (and zoom) their way around a stunning, bespoke illustration of the Showground so that they can discover what’s happening in various zones.
In terms of the way we designed the website, we not only looked at how we could improve the look of the site but we also explored how we could engage visitors more through the content. Throughout the site we’ve included various intuitive hotlinks, FAQs, handy hints and downloadable guides that offer a much more organic navigation style when compared to other sites. As the website hosts a wealth of information, it was important that certain areas of the site were accessible from other related sections within the content itself. This more considered approach to the site has made a significant improvement to its usability.
The previous Lincolnshire Show website achieved scores from Google of only 63/100 for user experience on mobile devices whereas by comparison the new website achieves 96/100 so we are expecting that these advancements in design will have a positive impact on how many mobile visitors the website will receive.
Raising the bar
We hope you agree that our vision for the new website has been successfully achieved - the new design is both energetic and exciting as well as family focussed and user-friendly. The Lincolnshire Show is a must see event for many across the county and at last the website matches up to this highlight of the Lincolnshire social calendar.
The new Lincolnshire Show website raises the bar significantly amongst similar events across the country and its responsive design ensures that it is future-proof against advancements in mobile devices. Many event websites can boast that their website is mobile-optimised, some even use responsive grids, but few have done so whilst maintaining the same level of flair, intrigue and fun that has been achieved through the Lincolnshire Show website. We aimed to ensure that wherever or however you’re visiting the website you get the same user experience and that the website puts a smile on your face!