Our work

Creating a beautiful digital experience for New Zealand’s greatest storytellers

Weta Workshop

Project background

For Weta Workshop, their website provides a strong channel to share their brand and connect with audiences across the globe. As a Wellington business at its heart, they wanted to find a partner locally with people that understood them, but at the same time, could provide a solution that would stand up on a world stage. 

Weta Workshop came to Silverstripe with a clear vision to create an experience that was not only visually beautiful but also intuitive for their website users to help them find what they’re looking for. They wanted to tap into the team that are the experts on Silverstripe CMS to provide their content authors with an easy-to-use and flexible content management experience. 

With an improved storytelling journey and end-to-end online tour booking process, utilising high resolution imagery and captivating video, the sites now cater for the Superfan and tourist alike, by immersing them in a unique visual experience.

Weta Workshop laptop 1
Weta Workshop laptop 2

Project scope

Our work together started with strategy workshops to define their pain points, goals, measures of success, and user journeys to understand what needed to change. The old website had all of their tours and services wrapped into one which made the information architecture (IA) complicated and unable to serve the distinctly different sets of users that Weta Workshop’s services and tours have. From the workshops, the decision was made to create two sister sites: one for services and one for tours. It meant we needed to create a custom CMS experience for Weta Workshop that allowed for elements of the design and code to be shared. 

When it came to the design of the two sites, whatever was designed and built for one website needed to be reusable for the other. Overall, the sites needed to have similar styles but each were created to have distinctive looks and features. They also needed features that would allow their content authors to use more videos, high quality images, slick interactions, and the flexibility to build pages depending on content and user needs.

Content design

As we identified during the initial workshops, there needed to be two websites for the unique sets of users for tours and for services so we had to change our approach to the build. Both sites needed to have similar designs and functionality so we decided that a third code repository could be used. In addition to having a code repository for each site, it would contain common components such as hero headers, video blocks, and galleries. Essentially, we were able to build two sites in the time it would take to build one. We started by building the most-used blocks so that the content authors could start populating the site with content while the other blocks and templates were being created. Working closely with their team, we made sure that the features we were delivering would work for the content in mind and could be formatted in a way to make the best use of the blocks. We constantly tested our work with CMS authors and real site users to ensure that what we were doing was functional and intuitive to their experience.

Taking advantage of the modular content structure of Silverstripe CMS, we were able to design the content blocks to give content editors multiple layouts and styles within a block. Each block can be used in conjunction with others in any order, allowing content editors to keep layouts fresh and varied, while the style remains consistent across the board. If a content block was suitable for both of the websites, it was designed with two skins so that it could be applied to either site seamlessly.

Weta Workshop devices

Project challenges

The old website showcased tours and experiences available but the user was taken to a third-party site to complete their booking. There was a disjointed user experience, giving CMS authors less control over the design and functionality of the process. We wanted to give the team the control they needed, so we focused on integrating the new Tours site with a third-party booking system that lived on the same site, rather than linking away from it. Our team utilised a third-party booking API so that the site fetches real-time booking availability information for each of the tours and experiences as it’s needed. That information is then synchronised with the site’s database to increase performance for subsequent tour views.

Weta Workshop Tours homepage

Finding a technical development team that we could communicate with easily, clearly and regularly throughout the whole process was really important to us. This is exactly what the team at Silverstripe did.

Alesha Stefanissin

Sales & Marketing Manager, Weta Workshop

Key outcomes

Together, we brought to life a solution that was not only user-centred, but beautifully designed to showcase everything that Weta Workshop does. The new Tours website and new Services website have brought in higher than normal views and more click through conversions for the Weta Workshop team. The booking widget is at the forefront of the Tours website and bookings have seen a 9% increase in comparison to the old website. 

Weta Workshop’s internal users have been thrilled with the change in content management. They no longer have to maintain thousands of pages—the modular Silverstripe CMS gives them flexible new web pages that are quick and easy to load content into.

Weta Workshop Tours devices

Services provided

  • Workshops
  • Discovery
  • Wireframing
  • UX & design
  • Front and back end web development
  • Dedicated testing resource
  • Ongoing UX & UI discussions
  • Project Management
  • Solution Architect consultation
  • Programme Management
  • Account Management
  • Managed cloud hosting
  • 24/7 New Zealand-based support

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