Ideas for your attraction’s digital marketing | Thrill & Create Newsletter, July 2015

Thrill & Create Newsletter

July 2015

Hello there.

I’m David Parmelee, and I design digital products – mostly for the amusement and attractions industry – through my company, Thrill & Create. Amusement parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, tourism departments, amusement and attractions blogs, and anyone who works with them are all fair game for this.

For the past several years, I’ve been studying the amusement and attractions industry in great breadth and depth. I’m interested in sharing that knowledge with you as we work together to make the world a more fun place.

On this mailing list, I will be sharing great reads from the amusement industry and the field of user experience, written by myself and others. There are two main goals for doing this:

  1. Create value for you – whether you choose to work with my company on a more formal basis or not.
  2. Solve your pain – so that you can spend more of your time doing what you love at your attraction and reaping the rewards of that.

I may also include special offers for Thrill & Create services and company news.

Reading list

1. Ad Placement for Mobile

Aurora Bedford, Nielsen Norman Group

I often encounter amusement-related sites – such as industry blogs – that are monetized with advertisements. After all, website owners need to be able to pay their bills – or, at least, not run their sites at a loss. Sometimes, these sites don’t go mobile yet because they are not sure how to still generate ad revenue on smaller screens.

Aurora Bedford, a user experience specialist for Nielsen Norman Group, gives practical advice on how to effectively place ads on your mobile or responsive website without driving away users.

Learn more about effective mobile monetization

2. Polin’s Super Combo Waterslide Scoops Most Valuable Product Award


More and more attractions are achieving new levels of thrills by combining several existing ideas. Several prominent roller coasters that have opened in the past several years feature elaborately-themed dark ride elements. Water slides are now beginning to feature combinations of funnel elements, bowls, zero-gravity walls, and more.

Polin’s Super Combo slide at AquaFantasy in Turkey takes “thrilling for delight” to a whole different level. Super Combo’s initial drop into a slide with hundreds of rings of light leads into a bowl. The adventure continues with an uphill water coaster section and a sphere, which gives a different ride path on every ride. Finally, riders drop out of the sphere into another dark section with many rings of light, then into a splash pool.

Take a virtual ride

3. 5 Elements of Omni-Channel User Experiences

UX Magazine

A frequent goal in marketing is to get your product or service in front of its audience through as many means as possible: offers at your facility, signs pointing people to your facility, email lists like this one, websites, mobile apps, text message alerts – whatever it takes. People are more likely to buy from you through repeated exposure.

So, it makes sense that people who hear your message from multiple sources would expect a consistent message and a consistent experience with your brand across those channels. There is a lot more to this than just web design. Your audience expects consistent tones of voice, similar features, no instructions to switch devices to complete a task, offerings tailored to what they are currently doing, and the ability to start an activity on one device and continue it on another.

A tall task? Perhaps. But user experience designers specialize in making sense of it for you and your audience.

Learn more about omni-channel

4. Why Plain Language is Vital for Website Usability

Whitney Quesenbery

In my field, a common saying is that a website should read like a billboard. People should be able to look at it for just a couple of seconds and know right away what the site is offering them. Yet some sites I encounter rely on field-specific jargon and take a while to get their point across.

In this article for Net Magazine, A Web for Everyone author Whitney Quesenbery explains that using plain language is not the same thing as dumbing your message down. Web accessibility knowledge shows us that different groups of people who might use your site have different needs. And Whitney takes this message beyond just talking about your copy. She shows how you can design the layout of your company’s website to get your message across to potential customers faster.

Learn why you should keep it simple

5. Embellishments

Seth Godin

When is just building and opening an attraction not enough? Seth Godin, one of the premier communicators in marketing, provides a great 2-minute read on why we embellish – and even, by extension, why many of the most memorable attractions are themed.

It is interesting to consider what Seth has to say here in light of attractions and themed entertainment.

Get inspired  

How can we help?

Many of you have seen my business card at IAAPA or my website since then, and several of you have remarked to me that you like how it is structured around “How can we help?”. And the purpose of this newsletter is to provide value to you and your business and solve the pain that you encounter along the way.

So let me know – what are some challenges you’re currently facing in your business? It doesn’t even have to be related to your website, app, software product, or digital marketing. I want to continue understanding the big picture in order to keep giving you value.