Scrawled in pink font across the screen are the words: “Midwest Indie. Yes, really.” Behind the text, several high energy, brightly colored video clips play on a loop, displaying scenes of large crowds and live music. If you didn’t know better, you might assume that this was a website for the latest indie music festival.
This is the destination website for Eau Claire, a small, quirky town in Wisconsin. Hometown of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who co-founded the now-famous Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival, Eau Claire is one of the Midwest’s most vibrant music scenes.
Dubbed “The Land of Originality,” the Wisconsin city embraces its quirky culture. And when it came to redesigning their website, the team at Visit Eau Claire knew they wanted to stay as far away from a “corporate feel” as possible. Instead, they wanted a design that didn’t take itself too seriously. A design that would capture the playful essence of Eau Claire.
The Midwest Does It Best
As part of the website redesign process, the DMO hosted a team of Simpleview designers and analysts for an immersion trip, where they spent several days showing off Eau Claire’s best assets and hidden treasures. They planned the trip to coincide with one of the destination’s most popular events: the Eaux Claires Music& Arts Festival, a two-day celebration of art and indie music.
Throughout the entire design and build process, Simpleview’s XD team focused on one thing: creating a stunning website that was a fun and unique as the destination itself. They added video elements and eye-catching images to really capture the essence of Eau Claire and made sure to include fun pops of color and bold, quirky fonts. Of course, local music events are prominently displayed through-out the site, positioned atop playful design elements and artsy script fonts.
It’s All About Engagement
At the end of the day, the team at Visit Eau Claire wanted more than just a pretty new website. A main goal for the redesign was to increase on site engagement metrics, including time on site and the average number of pages visited per session.
To accomplish this, the Simpleview XD team worked collaboratively with Simpleview’s SEO and CRO teams to determine what content users were seeking and made that content easier to find. Their research determined that users often visited the site looking for upcoming events, but the deluge of the hundreds of local events on the events page made it difficult for them to find anything, driving them to leave the site and seek information elsewhere.
After reorganizing the site, emphasizing the highlighted events on the homepages and implementing a more robust feature for sorting events, results showed that organic pages per session increased by 15 percent, while the average session duration went up 13 percent. Organic bounce rate dropped by 21 percent.
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