When designing a park website, don’t skimp on the pictures

20Jan11

If you’ve ever tried to look up information about a park at the corresponding city’s website, you probably noticed that it’s easy to find out the hours, amenities, and other basic details. However, one important thing tends to be missing: actual pictures of the park itself. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a small image or maybe even a map — but not much else.

Why do park websites contain so few photos? I have no idea. It’s a shame, too, since pictures are the best way to convey the sensory experience of the park to potential visitors. For instance, you could post things like:

– Maps showing how to get to the park by foot, car, or public transit

– Maps of the park grounds

– Pictures of the trees, animals and other natural wonders that are found in the park

– Pictures of man-made amenities like pools and playgrounds

Granted, a park website that shows basic text info is better than not having a website at all. However, investing a small amount of time to take some pictures would make any park website a hundred times better. Or, for an even easier option, ask existing park visitors to submit their own photos, or encourage them to post them to sites like Flickr that you can link to. While this type of endeavor probably won’t be a big revenue generator, it should help bring more visitors to the park. And as a larger number of people get to enjoy all that the park has to offer, the existing investment in maintaining the park will pay off on a greater scale.



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