Pikes Peak Country Attractions
Web Design & Development // Branding
More than just families
Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region have welcomed families since “purple mountain majesty” was coined. But with millennials spending more on experiences than things – Pikes Peak Country Attractions saw an influx of young-adults-without-kids visiting the region. It was time for their brand to grow up, just a little.
Defining "modern west"
We needed to find a balance between: rugged but not serious, playful but not childish, modern but not sterile. We called this style “modern west” and made it our true North to finding inspiration from other travel game-changers like Sunset Magazine and Visit San Francisco.
Re-designing our own site
A website is never finished. The old PPCA site – designed by yours truly – won a 2013 ADDY Award for “Best of Interactive” – who’s bragging! But a website has to adjust to ever-evolving changes in technology, industry and audience. After four years, what was once the perfect solution for PPCA was in need of some fine-tuning.
The site needed a new information hierarchy system – which is really just a “pinkies up” term for organizing content to say “the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.” No pressure, right? With a library full of new, compelling images and an audience eager to engage, we wanted to take a story-driven approach for this redesign.
Playful but not childish
Blending clean lines with rugged accents is easier said than done – but we knew that was the fine line we had to walk to achieve “modern west.” In the Element Exploration below, you can see how ragged edges and colorful patterns add interest to an otherwise grid-like approach. The blend of custom icons and vivid images create a sense of visual playfulness and surprise-and-delight.
We use “Element Explorations” to experiment with storytelling through colors, icons, messaging, imagery, and other opportunities for surprise and delight.
Building your vacation
Because this site had to appeal to so many audiences – families, young couples, retirees – we developed an Itineraries section. These itineraries were hand-selected by PPCA staff, based on visitors’ interests and number of travel companions and include day-by-day suggestions to keep you exploring. Visitors can save just a few attractions or the entire itinerary to their “Favorites”.
Before jumping into design, we strip away the aesthetics and focus on the hierarchy of information on a page. How would someone use this site? What is the ideal user flow?
This entire site – including the Itineraries pages – take advantage of Cornerstone’s front-end editor. Our team developed custom Cornerstone blocks where the PPCA team can drag and drop attractions, add restaurant callouts and customize the length of each day without worrying about a single semi colon or end bracket. The site gives their team enough flexibility to customize each itinerary with enough structure to maintain a consistent look and feel across the site.
The Rangers get that the brand and the website are living things, constantly growing and evolving, and they’re there to support every step. They’ve won multiple awards for the work they’ve done for PPCA, and yet it’s never the Design Rangers’ show. They are the magic working behind the scenes to make PPCA grow, and they make it all so easy on me.
– PK Knickerbocker
Key Take Aways
The site has less than a 4% bounce rate. Unheard of? Not anymore.
We used the itineraries section of the new PPCA site to test if visitors would be interested in bundling attraction tickets. Sure enough, the most-asked question visitors ask is if they can purchase an entire itinerary!
Camp is in session
Meet with a Ranger
Feeling inspired to lace up your boots and blaze a new trail? Us too! Every Ranger-led expedition starts with a 45 minute, complimentary Discovery Session where we get to know you and your business goals. Just fill out our project form to get started!