Travel packages for Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences: UI, Copywriting
TravelWizard.com is a website that acts as a search tool for deals on travel packages—including cruises, hotels, and adventures—all around the world. The user can request more information through the website and a travel agent will take care of the rest. TravelWizard is well-known in the travel community for their great service and high customer reviews.
The original website for Travel Wizard:
- Had no hierarchy because of the last-minute adding of call-outs and links
- Was very hard to navigate
- Wasn't as elegant, luxurious, and unique as the client envisioned
TravelWizard came to us wanting a high-class website directed towards people who travel for the "get-a-way" and for the adventure. As the lead designer on this project, I worked with my VP to create the underlying message of "What do you want to cross off of your bucket list?" We constructed wireframes and a site map to eliminate any unnecessary pages and to streamline the entire search experience. I wrote the home page messaging to tailor to travel experiences. The final design uses elegant typefaces paired with colorful, saturated imagery to say, "Let's get out and go!"
To start, I worked with our team to define a site map by rearranging and combining already existing categories on the website. Then, I designed wireframes in Balsamiq.
- Don't lean on the client to choose his target audience without any background data.
In this case, the data about the current audience was ignored and there was no marketing tactics used to capture the client's intended audience. Even though the design is "luxurious" as the client wanted, the design was not what the current audience was looking for; they wanted cheap deals based on submitted feedback and customer service phone calls. This led to a drop in overall users.
- Consider SEO from the very beginning.
Since our team consolidated the number of links and pages, the SEO ranking of the site dropped. This confused the client. It would have been optimal if we had an SEO expert or team comb through and tell us how to approach the site from the beginning of the project, and to loop in the client as necessary.
- Work with developers to solve problems regarding limitations early.
Even though the main action of the site is to search for deals, the actual search bar functionality was very standard and it shouldn't have been. There were issues in development that hindered the filtering of a custom search. If I were to re-do the project, I would work with the team to develop multiple user stories at the very beginning of the project to identify the best way to search, and to have development build out their database as such, in order to recognize problems or limitations from the start.
Project Team 2013
Lead Designer and Marketing Copywriter: Charlene Chand
VP Design & Development: Devin Schvaneveldt
Lead Developer: Kris Chase
Principal: Corey Mangold
Project through GigaSavvy