Luxury holidays made responsive

The Holiday Place

Rethinking, rebranding and redesigning a luxury holiday travel experience

The challenges

Though effective, the original website was potentially damaging The Holiday Place's brand by delivering an experience that was incongruous with the level of service and attention to detail that the company provided. Holidays were hard to find, information was poorly delivered, and the lack of any cohesive visual design gave the impression of 'stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap' holidays.

To help the Holiday Place provide a better experience to their customers, we conducted several branding workshops with the internal team. These workshops helped establish any misconceptions of the current brand as well provide clear direction for the new brand and associated visual language.

It was through this process that we decided to adopt a somewhat unorthodox 'bottom up' branding approach. By marrying the visual language with a solid UX foundation and a strong content strategy that was running concurrently, we created a brand through the interface elements, ultimately leading to a visual language and brand that fully matched the perceptions of both The Holiday Place's customers and stakeholders alike.

Workshops aplenty

Any company comprised of many stakeholders, each with a strong opinion, makes the highly-subjective world of visual design an unenviable task. To focus this energy and enthusiasm into a unified visual language that had the company's backing required multiple workshops and exercises run throughout the project. One of the most productive workshops revolved around a brand questionnaire that required all stakeholders to articulate their opinions on questions such as 'If your brand were a type of car, which car would it be?'. The results of these questions were not only entertaining but also highly enlightening for all stakeholders involved. Not only were some opinions polarising, they helped the company agree on a brand direction, style and tone.

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Focusing on performance

Throughout the project we worked closely with The Holiday Place's internal development team, who developed and maintained their vast software infrastructure completely in-house. With very few restrictions on what could be done technically, we were able to test & deploy front-end code quickly, adhering to the 'build, measure, learn' philosophy and at all times ensuring performance remained a top priority.

With imagery a main focus of any travel holiday website, long page load times can make or break a customer's experience (and potential conversion).

The Holiday Place's original image assets lacked freshness and artistic direction, forcing us to consider new ways of enhancing the site aesthetically without affecting page load time. Through the blurring of large thematic background images, we significantly reduced load time while remaining on target with our pre-specified page size 'budget'.

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The outcomes

The Holiday Place project(s) were highly rewarding, working with a great internal team with high standards and a desire to deliver great UX to their customers. In particular the approach of 'digital-first' branding meant that Clearleft - as a User Experience company - actually stepped into a branding agency's shoes and delivered something that was exactly on-par with what the Holiday Place desired.

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By providing a digital-first brand we also handed over a full brand guideline package, including the crucial does and don'ts, palette, typography and image-specific guidelines to ensure the Holiday Place were provisioned with a toolkit with which they could use, re-use and build upon for years to come.