Date: January 2017

Penzance, ranked 14th in the 52 Places to Go in 2017 by the New York Times, commissioned us to create an exciting new website showcasing the local culture, history and businesses that make the town unique.

Set by the sea in west Cornwall, Penzance is home to fascinating stories of piracy and adventure, as well as some of the region’s top businesses and tourist attractions. It’s currently experiencing a massive surge in popularity, featuring as a destination in publications including Grazia, The GuardianThe Simple Things and the New York Times.

The Penzance website mocked up on six mobile phones.

The user at the heart of the experience

To promote local companies, shops and services, the website features a business listing of 160 Penzance-based enterprises, from artists to accountants and gyms to jewellers. The new site also includes local events and activities guides, providing information on what to do, where to stay and how to travel around Cornwall.

The Penzance website mocked up on three tablets.

Functional design

The main aim of the design was to let content speak for itelf. Space and simplistic use of colour emphasise the stunning imagery and core information users need to find quickly and easily. Small touches of functionality add to the experience of bringing the town to life in a digital realm.

The Penzance desktop website, in two columns.
A hand poised to write on a whiteboard. A whiteboard with writing and post-it notes. A whiteboard with post-it notes and writing on it. Two Nixon Design employees plot out the Penzance website concept on large pieces of paper.

Working alongside local businesses

We worked closely with the Penzance BID and local stakeholders to map out the site’s aims and audiences. Through a thorough UX (user experience) process, we created a user-centred website that showcases the town’s unique selling points.

A woman sat at a desk with a laptop. A man stands on Penzance promenade with an umbrella looking at a double rainbow. Four flags flapping in the wind.

Content strategy

Highlighting the vibrant personality of the town, our content team created an authentic tone of voice for all written content. We then spent time carefully researching and writing copy for the site’s main pages and articles, offering insight into Penzance’s history, community and local area.

The result

The website is a stylish representation of the town that appeals to online audiences. User numbers for the Love Penzance website have increased by 300% (December 2017) compared to the previous year.

A page from the Penzance website mocked up on mobile.
An attractions page mocked up on the Penzance website for mobile.
A mobile-phone mock-up of the Penzance website.
A page from the Penzance website mocked up on tablet.
A page for Chapel House boutique B&B on the Penzance website, mocked up on tablet.
The Penzance website homepage.

Jess Golding, Penzance BID Manager

Nixon have been a wonderful agency, who delivered on brief a website that will rival any other in Cornwall. The design truly showcases all of the wonderful experiences that Penzance has to offer.

Penzance harbour, with small sail boats moored.