Informing new and seasoned skydivers about a family-owned, full-service drop zone
1. Project Setting
Skydive Palatka is a family owned skydiving dropzone that services any-level skydiver, from first-timers to seasoned fun jumpers. Their website is one of their main marketing channels so potential jumpers can find out more about their services, staff, and amenities.
This is a "client" that's very near and dear to my heart since it's my home dropzone (where I learned to skydive). The thought of revamping their site came up after a day of jumping when they realized it was broken. In order to put up something simple with a quick turn around, I stepped in!
Redesign and build their current website since their current website was outdated, non-functioning, and not representative of their thrill-seeking personality.
I led the project's content strategy, IA, research, and build in Squarespace. I worked with Skydive Palatka's program manager to produce content and gather assets. I consulted the Skydive Palatka community to inform the website strategy.
2. Project Approach
After agreeing to take on the project, the first thing I did was talk to the primary stakeholder (Skydive Palatka's program manager) to get a good grasp of what she was looking for. Her top "must-haves" were:
- scheduling and collecting deposits on tandem jumps and classes offered
- information for all skill levels and jumpers
- mobile friendly
- simple / manageable content
- must be up in as soon as possible
In order to inform the content strategy and keep in mind the quick timeline, we sat down and hashed out three main lean personas that could come across the site. To gather more insight on theses personas, we spoke to people who visited Palatka whether they were first-timers or the usual crowd.
The three personas we came up with:
First Time Thrill Seeker (Primary Persona)
"I've been wanting to try skydiving and now I'm finally going to plan my trip out."
- Find tandem and video / photo prices
- Find Info on Tandems
- Schedule Tandem
Wannabe Skydiver (Secondary Persona)
"Wow, I went on a tandem jump...and just couldn't shake the feeling. I want to get back up in the sky."
- Find info on how to start skydiving
- Find classes and costs
- Schedule AFF course 1
Experienced Jumper (Tertiary Persona)
"I'll be in the Florida area, wonder what dropzone are out there..."
- Find jump prices
- Find out about possible events going on
- Information on aircrafts & landing area
- Find out about the fun jumper crowd
CONTENT STRATEGY / IA
The lean personas and brief candid interviews with potential users helped us come up with a general sitemap. Since each persona had distinct goals, I structured the site to accommodate for each persona. The homepage is very simple and gets the user to decide what 'group' he or she falls into. From each section, there's a sub-menu for user to find out more about each service offered. Ultimately, each section funnels the user back to 'Book Now' to reserve a class / event / tandem slot.
SCHEDULING SYSTEM RESEARCH
The final item that needed to be understood was the scheduling / booking system. In an ad-hoc meeting we discussed the requirements we expected out of a scheduling system and got to work on researching different third parties. Our research looked something like a spreadsheet which we were able to narrow down to a couple of options we liked the best. In the end, we signed up for Acuity Scheduling and were simply able to drop it into the Squarespace template.
FINAL BUILD IN SQUARESPACE
Once we composed majority of the content and gathered image / video assets, I went away to build the site. From the start I decided we would use Squarespace since it was super easy, had a nicely template design and would allow them to manage their content.
3. Project Outcome
The final site was concepted and delivered in 1 month! Over the past year, we've gotten a handful of candid feedback from tandem jumpers first visiting the dropzone. They comment that it's "easy to navigate", "clean", and "easy to read".
Take a peak for yourself!