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On 01, Oct 2016 | In | By Nick Conflitti

Waterloo Trail Website

Project

Waterloo Trail Website

Client

Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA)

My Role

  • Site architecture
  • Research / benchmark
  • UI/UX design
  • QA

Background

The Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) is leading the effort to build a 5-loop Epic mountain biking trail at the Waterloo Recreational area west of Ann Arbor, MI. The plans for the trail have been approved, and the MMBA can start the fundraising effort to build the trail. In order to do so the MMBA asked us to create a website that would provide various information to their target audiences.

Audience

The MMBA needed a website that they could direct prospective donors to as well as regional bicyclists and local volunteers to help build the trail. Working hand-in-hand the responsive website needed to communicate the background of the project, inform donors on what their investments fund, projected costs of the trail loops, and have the ability to receive electronic donations.

Goals

Educate and Donate

The MMBA needed to reach several audiences in their marketing efforts. Business owners/philanthropists for donations, community activists to help create awareness and learn about the trail, and most importantly the biking community to create excitement and volunteers for cleaning/building the trail.

Approach

Good, Fast, Inexpensive.

As a group with a small budget and a tight deadline to spread the word, we interviewed a lot of people via electronic survey and phone calls. Without a prepared list of people to reach out, we reached out to friends, family and local bicyclists to gather as much information as we could to understand what they would expect out of the Waterloo Trail and the website.The MMBA also provided secondary research to us to help understand the economic impact the trail would have on the local communities and potentially the region. This information helped us understand the content that would encourage business owners and organizations to donate to the development of the trail.

Segmenting the content

After discovering a lots of different features were wanted by bicyclists and donors, we decided to break down the content in stages of the website that would be released over the coming years. Pre-trail development and post-trail development.

Pre-trail development priorities

  1. Receive donations
  2. Donation progress
  3. Trail/loop information
  4. News updates
  5. Contact methods
  6. Inform people

Post-trail development priorities (not-developed yet)

  1. Trail/loop information
  2. News updates
  3. Local/pre-biking information
    • Bike shop listings
    • Bike rentals
    • Trail conditions

  4. Store e-commerce
  5. Social media integration (updates from riders and Waterloo Trail)
  6. Contact methods
  7. Inform people

Benchmarking

Collaboratively with the client we benchmarked a mixture of bicycle shops, top Epic trails around the country, and general sites that we observed had good overall user experience.

Definition and Design

Knowing what our audiences wanted and needed from the site, we separated content in to major buckets to combine related content in sections of the site. The site, although small in size, delivers the users content easily and quickly accessible for all devices.

Result

Within 16 months of finishing the website and marketing materials, the Waterloo Trail is more than halfway to reaching their goal. Between the site and direct donations from marketing efforts, the Waterloo Trail has raised $300,000+ putting them way ahead of pace for the total amount needed for all 5 trails.

UPDATE: In early 2016, the Waterloo Trail received a 6 figure donation from DTE Energy which also granted DTE Energy the naming rights to the trail. The site and trail have now been renamed to the DTE Energy Foundation Trail.

Image of Waterloo Trail Content Outline

Image of Waterloo Trail Sitemap

Image of Waterloo Trail Wireframes

Image of Waterloo Trail Wireframes

Image of the Waterloo Trail fundraiser website