Designing an iconic web home for Grand Central Terminal.

Grand Central Terminal

THE CHALLENGE

An architectural gem needing a website to match

Grand Central Terminal is the beating heart of New York, with tens of millions of tourists, commuters, and locals alike descending on the beaux-arts masterpiece every year. And like the legendary renovation of this Terminal itself two decades ago, the landmark's website was also in urgent need of a rehabilitation, hobbled by confusing navigation, separate mobile and desktop experiences, and a dated design.

We were brought in by retail manager JLL and the MTA to figuratively and metaphorically put the Terminal on the right track digitally. Our work was cut out for us: with over 60 shops and restaurants, dozens of events a year, and neck-craning tourists from around the globe, there were a lot of audiences and use cases that needed to be accounted for.

THE CLIENT

Grand Central Terminal

The Solution

Research, Research, Research

Research, Research, Research

We had to get the Terminal’s digital presence on the right track – and that means talking to everybody. Before a single pixel was laid down, we spent weeks interviewing tenants, flagging down tourists, calling commuters, reading histories, and taking tours to make sure we accounted for all of the Terminal's many audiences and many needs.

Details Matter

Details Matter

Grand Central is quite possibly the most beautiful building in New York, and in developing a design system for the sprawling website, we looked to the details of this architectural marvel. Every page is graced with celestial imagery, acorn and oak leaf patterns, and circular elements, plus type and color choices drawn directly from the building itself.

A flexible system

A flexible system

Being one of the world's busiest transit hubs is only one of Grand Central's many roles – it's also a top-flight shopping destination, a culinary mecca, a lively event space, a living piece of history, and a top-ten tourist attraction. We built the site with this in mind, focusing on its atomic elements that allow the Terminal to flexibly adapt to all these needs and more.

THE RESULTS

Good Looks and Great Numbers

Since launch in Q4 2017, the new website for Grand Central Terminal has seen a near doubling in organic traffic, and usability scores are better than ever before. Finally, this century-plus-year-old landmark has a web presence that pays homage the grandeur of the place itself. And we're not the only ones saying so: the site has received Gold trophies for Tourism Website, Real Estate Website, Website Aesthetics, and Website User Experience from the Communicator Awards, as well as two other nods from the Muse Awards for Website Aesthetics and Real Estate Website.

More importantly, the website is actually delivering for Grand Central. Year-over-year, we're seeing a 2X increase in organic traffic and another 2X increase for email collection rate. With a suite of targeted landing pages, a robust deals and offers section, and a set of tools for promoting events and other campaigns, the new website checks all the boxes for helping the team at JLL continue to provide a first-rate experience for all Terminal stakeholders.

With the website launched, our charge continues as we maintain and improve the website and manage Grand Central's email marketing efforts. JLL and the MTA have been passionate and committed partners, and we're excited to continue working with them.

Grand Central Terminal Grand Central Terminal Grand Central Terminal

I am very pleased with the new Grand Central website. In the past I would hear about an event/activity AFTER it took place. Now I can plan ahead much easier which always gives me something to look forward to at GCT. I’m glad to see Grand Central become such a destination, thank you!

Julia M.
User Survey

So, What Do You Think?

Digital Natives Group
5-22 46 Ave • Floor 3 • LIC • NY 11101
info@nativesgroup.com          718.433.1122
info@nativesgroup.com          718.433.1122
Damn Good Marketing.
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