Designing the experience for
Europe’s biggest water theme park

Park of Poland is the largest tropical-themed water park in Poland and Europe, with capacity for 8000 visitors. It has 32 slides with a total length of over three kilometres, and the longest indoor slide in Europe, at 320 metres. It also has an incredible four hundred palm trees, an 840 square metre thermal pool, a 20 000 square metre garden, a variety of saunas, and a spa. Flying Bisons designed and developed both web and e-commerce platforms for Park of Poland.

palm

Park of Poland is located in Wrecza, Mszczonów, in the heart of Poland. Around 60 km from Warsaw, the park lies between the A2 motorway and S8 expressway.

Park of Poland - under construction
  • Goal

    To design and deliver a full digital presence for Park of Poland.

  • Scope

    Discovery, strategy, UX, UI,
    front- and back-end development.

  • Length

    Two years

  • 01
    The Challenge

    To design and develop a platform for the water park

  • 02
    THE PROCESS

    To collaborate with the design and construction team building the physical water park

  • 03
    THE RESULTS

    Fully operational front-end and back-end e-shop

How it all started?

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Our long term partnership with Park of Poland started in 2017. Thanks to Mamastudio (www.mamastudio.com), who worked on the Park of Poland branding, we were invited to pitch our offer to create the landing page for a new project near Warsaw. It turned out that this project was a water park with a budget of 350 million euros. At that point, we didn’t expect our collaboration to go any further. We were a team of eight, and still in our first office on Chmielna Street. Now we are a team of forty UX, UI, dev and analytics professionals.

We were really excited to be a part of such a huge project. Our initial meeting with Park of Poland’s team was great, and a few weeks later, we started work on the first small website.

March 2016 Getting to know
each other
April 2017 First website
May 2018 We do digital!
January 2020 Start a new
e-commerce website
February 2020 Park opening

Everyone is interested!

FIRST WEBSITE

We designed and developed parkofpoland.com by the summer of 2018. The process of creating the website was pretty standard in UX terms. We did our research and got together all the available information, created the sitemap, and translated it into mockups.

Park of Poland mockups UX
Park of Poland mockups UX
Park of Poland mockups UX

The real challenge was creating a visual style to align with the branding. The biggest obstacle was the lack of visual content. We only had a logotype from Mamastudio, some 3D renders of slides, and some technical info. With this limited material, our designers prepared the entire visual language for the park.

Park of Poland logo
Park of Poland brand

We were delighted with the results. The website did exactly what it was designed for, delivering content on Park of Poland with a real ‘wow factor’. The landing page had hundreds of thousands of unique users between 2018-19.

Park of Poland logo

The sky’s the limit

NEXT STEPS

After the success of the first website, an opportunity arose. Park of Poland’s team was considering us to design and deliver the whole platform that would run the digital side of the operation: e-commerce, accommodation, wristband system and ticketing system inside the park.

The team was ready for this challenge. We already had experience of big projects, having worked on projects like KFC’s e-commerce, Pekao Bank’s transaction system & PeoPay app, as well as international projects with PwC, IKEA and Poland’s biggest brewery, Kompania Piwowarska.

Park of Poland system

Full scope for Flying Bisons

The opportunity was huge. We would be responsible for the entire digital customer experience, as well as being able to co-create the customer experience inside the water park. This presented unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us. This was it! We had to do everything to make it happen. We started consulting with the Park of Poland team on the project, and had a number of meetings. There were a lot of topics to cover, a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of things were unknown. Our team was proactive, preparing a list of expected touchpoints, and potential customer journey maps.

pool
Park of Poland searching

Our business and consulting approach was key. Building the map and describing the customer journey in detail was a very important moment in our collaboration. It was a milestone for the project, and for Flying Bisons. From that point, we gained enough trust from the client to be a serious contender to work with Park of Poland.

We got it! We won the pitch, and began to develop a long-term collaborative partnership with Park of Poland.

3, 2, 1 ... Go!
We’re going on a journey.

DISCOVERY PHASE

One of the biggest projects in the history of Flying Bisons started as usual with the discovery phase, but this time we took the term ‘understand the experience of the user’ quite literally. Park of Poland invited us to visit Romania’s Therme Bucharest water park. During our time in Therme Bucharest, we were able to understand the touchpoints, spot some user experience problems and areas that could be improved.

Park of Poland trip to Romania

We came back to Poland with heads full of ideas and motivation. The trip gave us a lot of pre-kickoff information that we were able to utilise to prepare a better project process. And of course, it was a great team-building exercise.

Preparing for
big challenges

DISCOVERY PHASE

Our team was central to the whole project, taking the role of product owner. This meant we had to lead the project and drive it forward. The schedule was very tight and the deadline was very short. The project started in late March 2019, and it had to be finished by the end of the year. It was unlike any other project because, without a fully operational website, the park couldn’t open.

Park of Poland build

The process involved a lot of stakeholders and vendors: the branding company, who were also responsible for visual signage inside the park, the company delivering the accommodation engine, the company delivering the ticketing and digital wristbands system inside the park, the company running the bungalows, and Park of Poland’s team.

We divided the process into the discovery phase, strategy phase, concept phase, design & analytics phase, development phase, Q&A and security check. The foundation for the design part of the project was preparing a very detailed list of all elements, modules, and functions, a screens inventory, user stories, and a timeline for the discovery, strategy and concept phase. We knew from experience that getting this right was essential to making the project work smoothly.

Discovery
Strategy
Concept
Design
Development
Optimization

Project kick off

DISCOVERY PHASE

During the kickoff, our main goal was to create a common vision for the project, understand all of the business perspectives, and create an initial roadmap. The meeting started with a round of introductions, with all the stakeholders and vendors. Our team used the Business Model Canvas as a tool to gather information. It allowed us to bring up many important topics in a very structured way. After a few hours, we were able to put together the initial roadmap which was agreed by all the stakeholders.

Park of Poland discovery

E-commerce for
everyone? Building
Proto-personas

DISCOVERY PHASE

Before moving into planning the solution we needed more information about potential users, which was tricky for a project without existing data. The daily capacity of the park will be around 8000 visitors. If we wanted to map all the possible personas we needed to map people’s ages and gender. We encountered a similar issue when we were redesigning NC+ self-care mojenc.pl (currently in development) where there were simply too many potential personas to cover.

Park of Poland persona
Esteban Morterero 23 years Student
Park of Poland persona
Katarzyna Novitska 26 years Freelancer
Park of Poland persona
Maciej Marcinkowski 36 years Enterpreneur
Park of Poland persona
Sylwia Burczyk 20 years Student
Park of Poland persona
Tomasz Ringwelski 48 years Doctor
Park of Poland persona
Zuzanna Gawińska 67 years Pensioner
Park of Poland persona
Dariusz Gorzynski 28 years Sportsman
Park of Poland persona
Henryk Domagalski 42 years Invalid

For the NC+ self-care project, we decided to create ‘jobs to be done’ personas, but for Park of Poland we decided to create personas for the visitors that are most likely to visit the park on weekdays. This emerged from the potential business risks of the park, which included having too many clients at the weekend, and too few during the week. We wanted to gain a deeper understanding of potential ‘weekday clients’.

Park of Poland persona

During our proto-personas workshops, we were mainly working with the Park of Poland’s marketing team. This was a great exercise for them, as they were developing the whole marketing strategy for the park at the same time. Creating the value proposition for each persona gave us a lot of valuable insights for specific areas of the planned website.

Mapping the park
experience

DISCOVERY PHASE

Once we understood what we needed to create and for whom, it was time to dive deeper into online and offline touchpoints. Together with Park of Poland’s team, we started mapping the whole park experience. This was an essential exercise to make sure that we didn’t miss anything on the website.

During that process, it emerged that the website will need to be a little bit bigger in terms of pages, and we even managed to find some blindspots in the offline park experience. Our visit to the water park in Romania turned out to be priceless.

Since 2019, when we started with only four people, we have been building a rapidly growing analytical team. For each project, we prepare a customised analytical plan ( read more), the outcome of which is a data layer that allows us to gather the most important information in Google Analytics.

After creating specific customer journeys for our proto-personas, we realised that preparing the analytical plan for Park of Poland would be quite a challenge. A lot of offline data points needed to match online data, and a lot of touchpoints were mixed.

Understanding
the technology

DISCOVERY PHASE

In order to understand all the external systems involved, and their possibilities, dependencies, limitations, and so on, we ran several technology workshops with Park of Poland. We had to make sure that we understood how each third party system operates and how we could integrate it with the online selling platform we were going to develop. All in all, we had to integrate with a total of four large independent external providers. This included the ticketing and wristband management system, hotel reservation engine, and the spa & wellness booking system, as well as the payment provider.

Firstly, we ran workshops with each provider to make sure we fully understood their product. This allowed us to establish the workload on our side, as well as minimising the project risk.

Secondly, we had workshops with just the Park of Poland team, to establish their needs and develop workflow across the systems that would also meet their operations plan for the park. As a result, we created event diagrams for each action that should take place on the website platform and assigned ‘actors’ for each event. This also gave us a clear view of at which stage of development we should include all the third party providers.

Park of Poland flow

Last but not least, we ran requirements engineering workshops with stakeholders from different departments so we could clearly understand their operational needs and craft them into functional and non-functional requirements that the platform should fulfill. In the end, we had over two hundred user stories.

Creating
a plan for action

DISCOVERY PHASE
Park of Poland actionable plan

The discovery phase gave us a precise understanding of what we need to build. The next step was to prepare an actionable plan aligned with the very tight and complicated process of building the real water park. Using customer journeys maps we were able to list all the elements, modules, and functions needed. When we were finalising the process with the first screen inventory and user stories, we realised that the team would need to be pretty big: four designers, a copywriter, a project manager, and five developers were assigned to thePark of Poland team.

Park of Poland mobile website

The goals and rules
of the project

STRATEGY PHASE

While planning the strategy to bring Park of Poland’s new website to life, we discussed and agreed some goals and rules:

Mobile-first

We expect around 70% of traffic to come from mobile in 2020.

Accessibility is a priority

We agreed that the website will have all the necessary accessibility features.

Unique design

Park of Poland is all about the experience, so the user interface part of the project is crucial.

Photos of happy people

We agreed that the images we use will show people enjoying their time at the park.

Copywriting

This is, as we always say, a vital part of the user experience and we know that we need to work on it internally.

Easy checkout

A great product is not enough. We knew that a smooth and simple checkout process is the key to a high conversion rate.

SEO

We needed to understand the future marketing strategy to be able to implement effective SEO.

Security

We wouldn’t release anything without a security check.

Planning the
website and
e-commerce

CONCEPT PHASE

With these concrete foundations, the team was keen to start the concept phase. We decided to start with the navigation plan. We went through all the available benchmarks and prepared a list of dos and don’ts. Using our drawing board and stickers we created categorisations, grouped pages, and generally defined the content of each page. Once that was ready, we were able to design a lo-fi concept for the navigation.

Park of Poland concept

Sitemap

At this point, we needed to finalise a sitemap. We planned to create lots of similar modules across the whole website, to make it easier for the user to navigate. We also made the decision to make the homepage the outcome of all the secondary pages and their sections. So we started the sitemap backwards, with the secondary pages. The main idea behind the sitemap was that users can seamlessly explore Park of Poland’s attractions using the website. We wanted the user to be able to jump through different parts of the platform without thinking.

Once the navigation and sitemap were ready, we were ready to start making a lo-fi design for the main screens and checkout processes.

Park of Poland build

Homepage

USER EXPERIENCE
  • The sum of the most important pages and elements of the whole website.
Park of Poland Homepage

Attractions

USER EXPERIENCE
  • No need to open new tabs - “expand” to read more.
  • Seamless experience during exploration of the website.
Park of Poland Attractions

Ticket
configuration

USER EXPERIENCE
  • Many ways to get to the ticket buying process.
  • Pre-configuration step.
  • Define every single ticket separately.
  • Multiple options for the ticket (airplane tickets experience)
  • Upsells
  • Accommodation in the checkout process for the whole Suntago experience
Park of Poland Ticket configuration

FAQ

USER EXPERIENCE
  • Designed in a way that PoP can add unlimited content and questions
Park of Poland FAQ

Footer

USER EXPERIENCE
  • All primary information and sitemap included
  • SEO purposes
Park of Poland Footer

In the best possible taste

USER INTERFACE

From the very beginning of designing the UI, we had clearly defined goals. We wanted to create an interface that combines the joyfulness of the park, with a coherent and simple arrangement of elements, that would be easily readable for each of our personas. Firstly, our team created a colour set, combining juicy orange, with two shades of navy blue from the Park of Poland brand book and supplemented those colours with neutral greys. Of course, the images are the icing on the cake of this design. Colourful and vivid, the photos are reminiscent of the best tropical holidays.

MIDDLE RED PURPLE

HEX: 20183B

RGB: 32 / 24 / 59

RESOLUTION BLUE

HEX: 0C2487

RGB: 12 / 36 / 135

BLUE CRAYOLA

HEX: 2A7DFF

RGB: 42 / 125 / 255

CARROT ORANGE

HEX: F6931E

RGB: 246 / 147 / 30

SLATE GRAY

HEX: 6A718A

RGB: 106 / 113 / 138

BLUE BELL

HEX: 9BA2BF

RGB: 155 / 162 / 191

Design system

The style guide was created at the same time that we designed main screens. We knew that with a project on such a large scale, designing and assembling all the individual elements of the website would be a key to working effectively. Five designers were working on the Park of Poland UI once the project was in full swing, so we couldn't afford to have clutter and chaos in our files.

Park of Poland style guide

Icons are crucial

When the project was starting, we received some graphic assets from Mamastudio. The pack included, amongst other things, a set of twenty icons that will appear on signage inside the park. Using these icons, we then designed over forty more for the UI.

Park of Poland icons
Mobile App
Mobile App

120+ desktop screens

With so many original screens, and even mores states, the total number of screens soon added up. Working with the design system that we’d created was a massive advantage for our design team.

Mobile App
Mobile App

140+ mobile screens

With so many original screens, and even mores states, the total number of screens soon added up. Working with the design system that we’d created was a massive advantage for our design team.

Data is the key
to growth

DATA GATHERING - ANALYTICAL PLAN

Once the Hi-Fi version of the wireframes was accepted, it was time to create an analytical plan. Our analytical process is the first, essential step in instigating a CRO program. To create the plan, our analytical team sat down with the design team and Park of Poland to discuss their future needs. Flying Bisons’ team and Park of Poland expected to be able to analyse digital data on a daily basis.

In previous projects, we had discovered that the hardest thing in implementing an analytical plan is developing the data layer, especially when the product is developed by an external team. Luckily for us, we were working with our internal dev team, who were able to collaborate daily with the analytical team.

The most challenging task from a data analytics perspective, was planning for the data model to connect both online (the website) and offline (the park experience). The next step was to start using the data and slowly increase automation and personalisation using the CRM.

Park of Poland analytical plan

Flying Bisons do their job diligently. They discussed our needs with us during a bespoke workshop. They prepared strategy, timing, and scope of work in advance, which was very important for us.

Ewa Wdowska

Marketing Director