Delivering a new digital experience for Bristol Zoo Project, in just ten weeks

Bristol Zoo Project

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The client

Bristol Zoological Society

Bristol Zoological Society (BZS) has proudly pioneered modern zoo practices since its launch in 1835, leading welfare research and conserving endangered species across four continents. With a move to create an exciting new zoo, focused on conservation and habitats that better reflect animals’ natural environments, the Society rebranded its Wild Place site as Bristol Zoo Project in 2023.

The new location is set for development in 2024, and with a refreshed brand marking a bright future for the zoo, BZS needed a website to match.

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Key Outcomes

We introduced Bristol Zoo Society to a brand new CMS platform and built a future-proof, on-brand website that the team can build on and maintain independently. Now, the society’s conservation and education experience can extend beyond park grounds.

  • User-centred An in-depth discovery process was undertaken, to understand user needs and expectations, and learn from competitors.
  • Headless CMS A new headless CMS was introduced, enabling the team to scale and deliver timely, multi-channel content.
  • Future-proof design With branded, intuitive components designed for accessible navigation, the team can easily deliver and scale independently.
The Challenge

Bristol Zoological Society were in a chronic cycle of bin, build, repeat with their website presence.

Their digital approach was disjointed, with the charity hosting a number of websites across various CMS platforms; all of which were outdated and failing to engage the public in a strategic way.

Whilst website content was owned by the stretched BZS marketing team, they outsourced their IT infrastructure. This left a digital skills gap in-house, and resulted in a real disconnect between the Society’s broader business strategy, and how that translated into an effective digital approach. 

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A brand new CMS and complete UI refresh, in just 10 weeks

Online ticket sales made up the majority of the society's income, so delivery and launch of the new site had to be seamless and on-time. With AND Digital as delivery partners, the team delivered a brand new CMS, a complete UI refresh and an intuitive new UX journey - all in 10 weeks.

Understanding visitor needs
BZS was well aligned in its education and conservation goals, but they were missing a vital piece of the strategy - connecting with their market. Together, we undertook a design thinking discovery process, to understand user needs, to learn from competitors, and to unpack what the market wanted from a future-thinking zoo. 

UX and content auditing
We led Bristol Zoological Society through a UX and accessibility audit, helping the team understand the impact of their design choices on usability and navigation, across a wide range of user barriers. 
We also led them through a content audit, to understand what was converting and where their messaging needed an overhaul. 

Stakeholder management
Technology can be a great enabler of positive change, but driving it sustainably needs company-wide buy-in. From the catering team to the zoo-keepers, AND Digital hosted feedback workshops with internal stakeholders, ensuring buy-in on the success of the zoo's transformation.

A new CMS platform 
We helped the team source a new headless CMS platform - Storyblok. This will allow the team to create, deliver and reuse multi-channel content simultaneously, pre-optimised for various user devices. More time creating than carrying out admin, with a system that can easily scale as the zoo does. 

A brand new interface
Collaborating with the BZS team and their design partner, we translated the new “in print” brand into an accessible digital model. We designed and built a brand new, accessible front-end interface; with vibrant, intuitive templates that the team could manage independently. 

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Director of People and Public Engagement

Hannah Windross

“The website is better than anything we have had in years. It is clean, modern and attractive. You have managed to keep the design and navigation really focused on the primary goal and customer.”

The Results

Bringing Bristol Zoo into the roaring 20s

With a strategic relocation and a fresh look, Bristol Zoo’s brand new website signals the final phase of the charity’s innovation project. As a collaborative team, BZS and AND Digital built a site that’s:

• Accessible and intuitive at its core
• Vibrantly on-brand
• Education-first, bringing visitors along on the charity’s mission
• Seamless as a sales portal
• Scalable to the team’s needs
• Future-thinking, with an easy to manage headless CMS 

With AND acting as digital storytellers for the BZS mission, Bristol Zoo Project is now poised for a future that roars with success.

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