Snowbus

Who are Snowbus?

Snow BusSnowbus provides a regular bus transfer service from airports like Geneva and Chambery to a number of the major ski resorts in the alps including Val Thorens and La Plagne. This ski and snowboard friendly service prides itself on being reliable, easy-to-use and competitively priced.

Snowbus already had a functioning website but felt that it was too complex for many users and too time-consuming to keep up-to-date.

Snowbus approached Ballyhoo with the brief that their new website needed to be easier to use, for both customers and administrators alike, with a striking design worthy of the best names in snowsport.

What the client has to say about our work...

The guys at Ballyhoo were friendly, helpful, and completely professional whilst working on our website. They worked with us to realise, and improve upon, the vision we had for the business' presence on the internet and we could not be happier with the results.

Our customer numbers have improved since the launch of the new site and we are sure this is as a direct result of the great look and effective functionality of the website that Ballyhoo created for us. We cannot recommend them highly enough.

Dave Hubbleday, Director

Design

Snow Bus MobileThis website was designed with the typical snowsport enthusiast in mind. A cold colour palette and crisp images were used to bring to mind the typical ski resort with a repeated texture emulating the white powder everyone makes their trip to the alps for year and year again.

A range of popular booking websites, including the National Rail website, were used as inspiration for the booking system. This design area was key; a lot of information needs to be displayed to the customer in an easy to follow manner allowing them to select their booking and proceed through to payment without any issues.

Development

Some time ago we discovered that the simple content management system that we dubbed Ballyhoo Refresh has become a great foundation for more complex websites. Its flexible structure allows us to create advanced modules, including custom booking systems, while still retaining the core simplicity that allows virtually anyone to be able to manage their website without training.

A large amount of data needs to be managed in this booking system, from the list of journey options and costs to the bookings and payments made. A range of sophisticated functions have been designed to allow the management of this information to be handled efficiently with as many opportunities as possible for the administrator to automate or duplicate where necessary.

Customers begin their booking process by selecting their desired journey in the Search & Book tool. Starting point, destination, date and time of departure, number of passengers and whether the journey is one-way or return are all required to allow the system to calculate which journeys are suitable. Users are then asked to make a selection from a range of potential journeys with the system allowing them to browse earlier or later journeys too. Once the customer has made their journey selection they are given the opportunity to book their travel privately or on a shared bus (with enough passengers a private journey would be faster and potentially cheaper per person than a shared bus).

After their details are taken payment is processed securely using the SagePay Server Integration. This allows a payment page to be integrated in to the snowbus.co.uk website creating a seamless payment journey that doesn't take the customer to a third-party site at any point.

Responsive Web Design

Around 6 months after this website launched, discussions began on creating a responsive version of the site to cater for the increasing volume of users accessing the website through smartphones and tablet devices. In Google Analytics we could see that, while a growing number of users were browsing the site on mobile, a far lower proportion of users were proceeding to make a booking through the website on hand-held devices.

This market was potentially being lost to Snowbus so it was with a degree of urgency that we began work on creating a responsive design to capture those customers who would soon be looking to book their airport-to-resort transfers for the upcoming snowsport season.

The user-interface was of paramount importance - if we are to expect customers to select journeys and make payments online we need to ensure that each step is 'finger-friendly' and the entire process is simple and smooth.

We also need to consider that someone accessing the website on the go, perhaps with limited data connection, is looking for speed and accuracy. This is why the first thing you'll see when landing on snowbus.co.uk on your phone is the booking form.

All of the information accessible on the desktop version of the website can be found on mobile too, things have just been rearranged slightly to optimise the browsing and booking experience on limited screen real estate.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of a new website, a revamp for your existing website, development to work responsively or anything related to websites and the internet in general then feel free to get in touch. Any member of the Ballyhoo team will be happy to help and can be contacted by telephone on 0121 222 5780, email to hello@ballyhoo.co.uk or via the contact form on our contact page.

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