The Detroit Zoological Society

The Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo has 125 acres of naturalistic habitats for more than 2,000 animals from anteaters to zebras and features award-winning attractions. At Real Big Marketing, we admire the stance taken by the Detroit Zoo; leading the way in wildlife conservation and animal welfare.

Problems to solve

The Zoo website was generally difficult to navigate and also lacked accessibility requirements for people with disabilities. It lacked structure and information, was built in Joomla, a system that was not working effectively for content generation, maintenance, or marketing.

With Detroit Zoo marketing team leadership and ideas already available we had the opportunity to provide quick impact. Instead of working through traditional brand and marketing strategy development, we approached this project with our more focused Enhance eXperience (EX) project management program and a full Accessibility Audit.

Our rigorous EX Audit quickly illustrates the gap between initial aspirations and what is actually required for an awesome user experience. The information included; competitive analysis, advantage analysis, information architecture research, workflow & wireframes, and styling adjustment requirements.

Accessibility Audits are also robust providing a full breakdown of UX, UI, and programmatic adjustments necessary to meet and exceed the needs of people with disabilities

Work Performed

Research from both projects resulted in modifications to site architecture, user experience (UX) streamlining, user interface (UI) styling adjustments, enhancements to the content creation process, and integration with third party platforms.

We launched the site in roughly three months meeting the clients brand expectations yet exceeding their architectural, UX, and UI requirements. Additionally, RBM meticulously implemented hundreds of accessibility requirements to ensure the website is easy to use for people with disabilities.

We successfully migrated all information from Joomla to WordPress, enhanced staff workflows for building content, and implemented several third-party systems to improve marketing and sales.

Since launch, our relationship has deepened. For 8 years RBM has provided reliable consistent support, updates, consulting, and programming. We work closely with the both the DZS marketing and IT departments to ensure all requests are met on-time and on-budget.

Applegate Mulch

Branding expert Bill Latocki originally introduced us to the folks at Applegate when they were in need of developing a more effective site for their commercial grade mulch division. The site was to feature a place for contractors to access secure content, a showcase of the company’s various products and product lines and other general information including a blog.

One of the interesting parts of the project for us was not just creating a way to dynamically display all the unique data relating to each product and product line, but also to create a highly intuitive and simple interface for their staff to manage the information that gets displayed. To accomplish this we created custom post types, templates, taxonomies and fields to facilitate the logical management and organization of the data.

Love From Louie

A non-profit organization that works to support families and the animals they love. Love From Louie rescues and supports all kinds of local animals in the community and helps find loving homes for them.

Founder and organizer of Love From Louie, Laura Steenrod approached us in early 2012 when she needed both Louie’s site and her farm’s website redesigned and hosted.

We worked to make sure that the Love From Louie website presented the stories of the organization’s wonderful works well and encouraged visitors to donate to this worthy cause.