Memphis Zoo shines with a wild Site of the WeekBy Gwen and Alexis
April 4, 2016
Memphis Zoo’s website has an extraordinary user experience from start to finish. Using all of the latest website technologies Greenfield/Belser admires, they have crafted an experience worthy of a Site of the Week nomination.
The site uses every opportunity to promote multiple facets of the zoo, using a singular, vertically-scrolling page. Once on the site, the user is greeted with a rotating marquee of zoo animal videos front and center– a giraffe batting its eyelashes, a panda having a snack, penguins enjoying a swim and lions sunbathing. It gives a captivating preview of what guests of the zoo can expect to experience while touring the facility in real life. On the landing page, the user is also presented with a ticker, currently being used for the Zambezi River Hippo Camp grand opening. This is a engaging way for the website to promote any event that has a countdown. As the users scroll into the site, panels appear in different colors to separate the information and conceal the videos in the background.
Scrolling down to the turquoise “welcome” panel, reveals a set of radio buttons appear on the left-hand side of the browser, as well as a new navigation menu at the top of the page. This idea of having a clutter-free homepage with no logo, menu or any other distraction, forces the user to scroll to discover more. There are five tabs within the welcome section that swap out additional information when clicked. This is a great way of taking advantage of real estate horizontally instead of vertically.
Smaller panels with transparent backgrounds are thrown in the mix, which include call-to-action buttons for memberships, adopting an animal and watching the animal cam. A list of the zoo families is displayed in icon format. When you hover on an animal icon, the icon enlarges and pulses; clicking takes you to a landing page for that animal. From there, other related animals are displayed with beautiful photography.
The footer is designed to be as compelling as the rest of the site, instead of being an afterthought– a large panel displays social media information, a blog excerpt, additional site navigation and a search bar, much like a mini info center.
Overall, the Memphis Zoo has a sophisticated responsive website design chock full of interesting elements from top to bottom and will keep users coming back for a wonderful experience as well as attract guests to visit the establishment in real life.