Responses by Hanson Dodge
Background: Our goal was to jumpstart the growing positive perception of Milwaukee, Wisconsin by creating a website that matched the surprise first-time visitors have when they discover the city. VISIT Milwaukee serves several audiences, and its website is important since it is often the first impression these audiences have of Milwaukee.
Highlights: The site’s overall creative approach is inspired by classic city nicknames. Since Milwaukee has been called “The Cream City” and “The City of Festivals” before, the team expanded on the nickname idea to highlight the endless number of one-of-a-kind experiences in Milwaukee. “Home of the Flying Art Museum on the Water” references the renowned Santiago Calatrava–designed Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, while “The Bloody Mary Metropolis” boasts of the city’s unique take on the brunch staple.
Challenges: Creating the user experience for the site’s My Trip functionality. We set out to avoid the common pitfalls and complexities of other trip planning tools by creating an easy-to-use shopping cart that travels with users as they explore the site, allowing them to curate their upcoming trip to Milwaukee, one simple click at a time.
Favorite details: We worked to infuse the site with features and functionality that encourage discovery and embody the wonderfully random spirit of Milwaukee. For example, there is a virtual slot machine on the homepage we’ve coined “the randomizer” that gives users an entertaining way to find suggestions for unique things to do and discover in Milwaukee when planning their trips.
Navigational structures: Each of VISIT Milwaukee’s key audiences have unique needs and goals. We chose to elevate content and tools that are most valuable to all visitors in the primary navigation. These selections orient users to everything Milwaukee has to offer. In addition to primary navigation, the “My Trip” tool is always present and helps users plan their itineraries by gathering and organizing items of interest they discover throughout the website.
Technical features: The main homepage experience is an introduction to the site and to Milwaukee, allowing users to interact with the graphics and discover more playful nicknames for the city that give a peek into what people can experience when they visit. The large colored design elements take users to detailed content related to the topic they preview.