Clifton Suspension Bridge

The Bristol based charity, who run and maintain the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, needed a site that caters to a range of audiences and a variety of user needs.

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The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust runs and maintains all aspects of the Bristol landmark. Responsible for the upkeep and everyday management of the historic structure, the charity also manages crossing tolls, looks after historical records and artefacts, and promotes the bridges social history and engineering significance through the Bridge’s Visitor Centre.

What they said

We knew that we needed to create something that was not only simple and straightforward for crossing card purchasers, but also had the depth of information that our visitors require. Modular not only had great experience in the heritage sector; they also understood how to clearly and simply represent the crossing card options available.

Iconic branding and seamless UX

Modular Digital was commissioned to rework the existing website to cater for new functionality and an updated visual identity. The first thing we did was assess the page structure of the website and address the CMS. We determined a migration to a WordPress based, but highly customised CMS would be needed in order to meet the brief. This new CMS uses a customised Gutenberg editor allowing easy updates and maintaining a consistent, user friendly design. 

The website now performs a variety of functions through carefully considered user journeys. As an information gateway, the Trust can notify road users and visitors alike of any disruptions or upcoming events that impact the bridge, quickly and easily. The visitor centre is promoted to the public and provides a range of educational resources for teachers and students wanting to learn about engineering and its relationship to Bristol’s history. Information is available for large groups, casual visitors, school trips and engineering enthusiasts. Each audience is quickly identified and taken to the information appropriate to their needs.

An eCommerce area on the site caters for commuters who need to purchase crossing cards; the Trust’s primary source of income for maintaining the bridge. It allows users to purchase, replace and top up cards, integrating seamlessly with the existing back office systems at the Trust.

Modular were fantastic in supporting us through the process of design, testing and launch, as well as solving teething troubles as we added new and unanticipated forms of content during the 2020 lockdown.

Connecting all these journeys to create a solid, enjoyable user experience, is the strong visual design across the site. Custom HTML and CSS ensure the Trust’s signature identity is present in elegant curves that mimic the bridge and engineering diagrams that call back to the innovation that went into building the landmark.

The launch process for this site was carefully timed to ensure there was no impact to live users making purchases or topping up crossing cards. Contingencies were planned and arrangements made with the payment gateway provider to ensure a smooth and successful transition to the new system.

The project has been highly successful. Users can now navigate the site with ease and surfacing educational resources has enabled schools to engage with the history of the bridge, as the Trust intended.

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