MORETON ISLAND ADVENTURES
Creating a dynamic ferry booking system for travellers
Moreton Island is one of the best holiday locations in Australia. We may be a little biased but the sand dunes, picturesque beaches and wildlife make for an unforgettable holiday. MIA approached WorkingMouse to digitise their ferry booking system.
Understanding the problem
How might we create a web application for travellers to Moreton Island with a simple booking experience?
MIA’s business operations, especially those relating to the MICAT (the ferry service), were being managed using outdated and outgrown technologies that were impacting MIA’s ability to operate efﬁciently. The problem statement was centred around how WorkingMouse could improve the efﬁciency and user experience of the booking process through a web application. At the core of the project, we wanted to create a product that would encourage self service rather than the old manual process of picking up the phone and calling the MIA staff.
Mobile responsive web application with a booking front end and administrator back end
Part of the complexities of the project was the development of dynamic pricing. What this means is that depending on the proximity to a ferry trip and the number of spaces remaining, the price can ﬂuctuate within a deﬁned threshold. Payments are processed through an integration with the eWay payment gateway. The other side of the solution is how it can be used internally within MIA. Functionality was built to allow MIA dock staff to view the ferry’s manifest and check guests in. This significantly streamlined their existing check in process.
MIA Booking App
The solution that emerged after scope was a mobile responsive web application. Users can ﬁnd the Booking App through the main marketing site and can then decide whether to book a ferry, accommodation or sign up/login. The user experience had to be simple and easy to follow so large buttons highlight the direction of the ferry and whether it is a vehicle/passenger booking. One of the biggest surprises was the value that the gift card feature provided. Many businesses were impacted severely by COVID19 but none more so than the tourism industry. Planned trips to Moreton Island were no longer possible leading to cancellations and requested refunds in excess of $700K. For an SME, losing this amount of revenue can be fatal to the business. Using the gift card feature built into the application, MIA were able to provide gift cards rather than refunding cancelled trips, giving them access to the cash ﬂow they needed to survive COVID.