The travel website industry is hotly contested – that’s no surprise, with over 1.4 billion people taking trips every year, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
With such demand on travel websites, it’s more important than ever to stand out. As always, the best way to do this is through cogent and distinctive design. The key? Knowing your audience.
Bridging the Market
Travel is undertaken by all demographics, but families form a huge segment of the overall figure; Access Development report that 25% of all families travel for vacations. This should tell you that your design will need to appeal across a wide variety of people and demographics. Families like simple, clear and understandable work – designs that take the fuss out of chaotic travel planning. This ties in with the need for organizational skills for family holidays to be made a success. Look for clean lines, well presented and simple web text, and features that work the first time – prevent frustration.
Appealing to Imaginations
Don’t overload your web page with information. Keep it short, and simple, and use demonstrative info graphics and topical illustration to make it attractive for visitors. Use dynamic code to change what they see – searching for a cold region holiday? Perhaps picture snow. A hot beach holiday? White sands and palm trees. Lonely Planet are an example of dynamic design who have achieved this, using city highlights to paint the backdrops of their simple and informative pages.
Developing a Brand
Travel branding is very important – having the right ethos and public face will attract your key markets. Create a graphical design and palette and then stick to it. There is wiggle room for themes; for instance, those winter vs summer designs, or the need to appeal to families wanting to cut down on hassle. However, this should be against a backdrop of simple and recognizable design that paints your website, or company, in the light that you want it to be. These tenets are some of the most basic in effective graphic design, but will serve you well throughout your website’s journey.
Travel websites benefit from having a clear direction. After all, travel captures the imagination, and so should the graphic design of related websites. Commit to clear and recognizable design basics, and then adapt them to the audience; sticking to this formula will make your web service a clear winner in a competitive market.
Contribution by Karoline Gore.