Project: www.planbooktravel.com.au redesign (2008). The travel website manages data from Gregories travel books across every major town in Australia. A user generated content (community) model was integrated with the existing information.
Challenge: In excess of a million dollars have been contributed to the project over a period of around 5 years, however visually, the site looked amateur and messy. Minimal sign-ups showed that people did not understand that it was a user generated site, or how to use it and add content.
Solution: We determined how a user would want to use the site to generate content and then we designed how that content would be presented within the main site in order to encourage others to contribute. We looked at how the core information was categorised and displayed. We then redesigned all the visual aspects of the templates and interfaces. We then implemented this design to give the user a seamless visual experience across their multiple technologies including:
- The main website engine (based on Plone [zope/perl])
- A custom developed business directory application (PHP)
- Static HTML pages
- Three separate companies to manage their bookings, all using different software, hosted externally on their own servers.
- Email newsletters
- Banner advertising
Results: PlanBookTravel has seen a much improved ratio of users ‘joining’ to users ‘contributing’. Traffic is steadily increasing and most importantly, there has been an increase in repeat users which is translating into brand loyalty.
- Concept development and strategy
- Creative direction
- Usability design
- Information design
- Interface design
- Graphic design
- Search engine optimisation
- Template implementation
- Integration into CMS software (Plone)
- Design and production of promotional materials