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About Village Roadshow

Village Roadshow is an Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed company with core businesses in theme parks, cinema exhibition, film and DVD distribution, marketing solutions, and film production.

Village Roadshow owns and operates Sea World, Australia’s premier marine park, and the first Australian theme park to be inducted into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame. Since its opening in 1971, Sea World has welcomed thousands of visitors each year, providing rides and entertainment, animal adventure programs, and education about marine wildlife and conservation.

The Problem

Village Roadshow wanted to improve the guest experience at Sea World. After performing competitor analysis, in-park research, concept validation and conducting focus groups with park visitors, Village was able to determine a number of opportunity areas for improving the guest experience. Key learnings from this research included the need for improved information about attractions, show times, scheduled ride maintenance, and general information such as opening hours, as well as the need for planning tools that provide guests with navigation assistance and suggested itineraries.

Village determined that these user needs could be addressed through the development of a Sea World app that would help guests plan their visit to Sea World and provide them with an enhanced experience of the park.

The Solution

Village Roadshow engaged Outware Mobile to develop a gamified iOS app that allows visitors to engage with Sea World before, during, and after their trip. The project ran for a total of 5 months, with the two teams working closely together collaborating on user experience design, visual design and business analysis, while Outware provided expertise in iOS development, QA testing, and project management.

The app allows users to plan their trip to Sea World, whilst also providing added novelty and enhancing the in-park experience. The ‘Park’ tab provides users with an interactive map of the park which allows them to see all available activities and facilities, sort them by type, and see their location on the map. The ‘My Day’ tab allows users to plan ahead by viewing all activities and show times, and add them to a sortable itinerary.

General park information is accessible via the ‘More’ tab, which allows users to purchase tickets, view park opening hours and details of any scheduled ride maintenance, access directions to the park, and view suggested itineraries tailored to audience type (e.g. ‘For Animal Lovers’). Users can also rate their experience and provide feedback.

The app also includes an element of gamification, where users can collect cards as they move around the park. This feature has been specifically designed to appeal to younger users, and provides an additional element of novelty for frequent visitors.

Since the Sea World app has been designed to form part of the park experience, it is essential that the app reflect the character of the park and be easy to use. The user interface has been designed in line with iOS design patterns to ensure the app feels familiar and intuitive for users, while the use of colour and motion in interactions adds an element of playfulness to the design, creating a delightful experience for both children and adults.

The Outcome

The Sea World app provides Sea World guests with an easy to use planning tool that allows them to plan their visit to the theme park in advance.

In addition to enhancing the in-park experience for guests, the app also allows Village Roadshow to reduce the environmental impact of printed maps and promotional materials.