Lightwater Valley Launch 2011 Website
The much anticipated 2011 Lightwater Valley Website has now been launched, following months of planning, design & development.
The new site, created by CQ2 forms part of the park’s ÂŁ40k annual E-Marketing campaign. Marketing Manager Mr Ashley Young told UK Park News:
“We’ll be investing ÂŁ40k in electronic marketing channels this season, to include the new website, regular e-shots, the Skeleton Cove viral clip and other new online footage / initiatives.”
We take an in-depth look at the new site:
|CQ2 & Lightwater ValleyCQ2, a Manchester based Media & Advertising company who specialise in a number of core business areas including:
The company has a broad client base in the North, and their impressive portfolio includes clients/organisations such as University of Manchester, The Needles Park and Meet in Leeds.
Here’s an excerpt from the CQ2 website explaining the thinking model in relation to their client’s needs:
â€śAt CQ2 we ask the right questions and are committed to understanding what is important to our clients.
This enables us to provide a comprehensive and effective range of design, marketing and communication services across a full spectrum of media.â€ť
CQ2 produced the parkâ€™s successful 2010 website, however Ashley Young tells us that a year-on, it was identified that the website was ready for an overhaul, with a need to re-establish the parkâ€™s identity:
â€śWe’d fallen behind Thorpe Park and Drayton Manor in terms of web design, so hopefully we’ve now rectified that after benchmarking against other park sites last Octoberâ€ť.
|The 2011 WebsiteWe take a look at the core areas of the website, and see how it compares to itsâ€™ predecessor, and its rivals!
Some time and effort has been spent in face lifting the site’s graphics and photos, and whilst some images have been ported over, the majority are all new, with some exciting new photography, especially surrounding Skeleton Cove.
Primary navigation is still managed via the menu bar across the top of the screen, with clearly visible category headers and easy to access sub menus. This section looks really smart, with associated images on the sub menus. Everything is where you’d expect to find it, so there is little need to go “digging” after the required information.
The site also utilises information tiles throughout, for quick info to popular features such as social networking. The Lightwater Valley site is now linked in with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube and Blogspot, each of which are easily accessible thanks to their integrated icons.
We particularly like the “New For 2011″ and “Find it Fast” tiles that are available on each page as these are most likely the areas that visitors want to access first, without having to route around in menus.
Ease of Access
Thankfully, this issue has been erradicated with the new site, and we can confirm that out of the popular browsers we tested, no immediate issues were present.
The site covers all areas of the park – with a dedicated area for Skeleton Cove. We are glad to see that the park have managed to include some photographs of the attractions as they stand in Lightwater Valley, though naturally there are some photos of when these attractions stood at their previous location. Hopefully once the park is open and receiving visitors, additional photos will be added of the attractions in their new habitat.
Each attraction has its own page, and the larger, more popular attractions have multiple photographs, and even video that is embedded into the site very neatly. There’s also a nice section indicating the ride restrictions, which includes information on height, weight or age limits.
The park’s pricing page is set out very well – making it clear to all how much it will cost for a day at the park. Thankfully, LWV have opted out of “Plus VAT” prices which rapidly seems to be becoming the standard across the industry. What you see is the price you pay, without looking around for the VAT inclusion. Good work here Lightwater!
Ashley told us that there are also plans to launch both Frightwater Valley and Shopping Village mini-sites later in the year, which is a nice addition, and something we’ll look forward to. It’s a shame other parks don’t launch themed mini-sites for their special events.
Our only criticism here is that it would have been nice to have an interactive park map along with the new website. Currently, as with the old site, the park map is a PDF download, the same as Drayton Manor’s and similar to Thorpe Park’s. We just find these a little flat and one dimensional. Having said that most parks seem to be reverting to this method of displaying park maps on their websites.
There’s no doubt that the new website is a vast improvement on the 2010 design. The clean and fresh look and feel makes the browsing experience much more pleasurable, and the use of vibrant colour and high quality photographs brings a very positive, energetic and rich dimension to the website.
With the introduction of both Skeleton Cove and a brand new website for 2011, we think this is going to be Lightwater’s biggest and most successful year yet, and UK Park News would like to wish the park all the best for this 2011 coaster season!
Remember, we’ll be featuring a FULL Skeleton Cove review on opening weekend, Sat/Sun April 9th/10th 2011.