Redesign and Rebuild on Drupal 8
Coach USA, is synonymous with transportation throughout the US and beyond. Renowned for its ever-increasing fleet of buses and massive network, Coach USA’s digital presence lacked the modern and responsive experience that riders required. We supported Coach USA during the platform selection process and re-platformed their outdated, proprietary CMS with a more robust system that could be easily managed and updated and could also provide enterprise-level capabilities for a digital ecosystem that includes 26+ micro sites. After launching their US site, GeekHive has continued to work with Coach to build out their other web properties including Coach Canada.
- Content Management Systems
- PHP Development
- Product Support & Maintenance
- Drupal Development
Weeks Project Ran
Coffee Cups Consumed
A Data-Driven Solution
We partnered with Coach USA’s marketing team to bring a modern look and feel to their currently outdated website. Using data compiled from customer surveys over the last three years, we were able to identify that one of Coach USA’s biggest challenges was that their web properties didn’t cater to commuters, their largest audience group making up nearly 70% of their customers. Our research confirmed that their customers wanted a better experience for when they were on the go, making that one of our main objectives.
With multiple audience segments and the traffic and performance patterns identified by Google Analytics, we rewrote, reorganized, consolidated, and optimized the content of more than 100 pages. Moving towards a simplified site structure, we also identified the need for a quick and easy way for users to search for buses. A main focus on desktop was a search widget to allow repeat users, like daily commuters and air travelers, the ability to easily find what they’re looking for without the need to navigate the site.
Drupal 8’s Impressive Feature Set
We chose Drupal 8 for this project because it provides future flexibility to create multi-sites for various entities. Below is a list of some of the ways we leveraged Drupal 8 for this build.
- Drupal 8’s in page editing functionality makes things far easier, quicker, and more efficient for content editors by allowing them to click right on the content and edit on the page instead of using a back-end wysiwyg editor.
- Drupal 8’s Blocks are much more flexible than in previous versions, you can now attach blocks to several pages and easily reuse content across multiple pages.
- Drupal 8 is written on Symphony, so we were able to leverage various Symphony tools to take advantage of what's already been written.
- Twig’s templating system is much more user-friendly for front-end developers and is less cumbersome for back-end developers to get front-end developers what they need.
- We used Drupal as the foundation to build a custom emergency notification system for the site. This enables Coach to notify travelers in case of delays or any other major issues that may affect them.
- We implemented a polling feature to gather customer feedback for Coach.
- We integrated Coach’s existing proprietary scheduling tool to their new site by creating an endpoint with the scheduling system that allows us to interface with and eventually roll it into headless Drupal.
With Drupal 8, the overall experience for content editors and the underlying experience of how you code is much more streamlined and far less cumbersome.
Drupal 8: Making the Switch as a Developer
Read more about the awesome tools Drupal 8 has to offer in this post by Developer Drew Nackers:
Entering the Mobile World
As a transportation company, Coach USA’s consumers rely on a mobile-friendly system with the ability to quickly search and view schedules from their mobile phones. We used data compiled from the customer surveys to design a responsive site to meet user needs so they can quickly and efficiently find what they are looking for and move closer to purchase.
From the technical side, we are taking advantage of Drupal’s ability to lazy load images on the site to increase speed on mobile. When you are lazy loading images, they are not loaded until you scroll to them, in addition, Drupal has built-in handling for responsive images, a huge benefit not often found out of the box with other platforms. Different than fluid images (large images scaled with CSS), this handling automatically sizes the responsive images for the screen based on the width breakpoints significantly reducing load time.This saves data on a mobile phone, helps with bandwidth and doesn’t use visitor data.
A Long-term Partnership
Our Long-term Engagement Team is currently working with Coach USA to help them roll out the next phase of this project; bringing brand cohesion to all of their proprietary sites.