How to transform the online channel of an aged website into a successful inspirational channel? With over 50% more unique online visitors in 3 months’ time, we know how visitdrenthe.com makes it work.
The road to a new website
At the beginning of 2017, the old (non-responsive) website of Drenthe needed to be replaced and Marketing Drenthe concluded that a big upgrade was necessary. The design of the old website was outdated and not very customer-friendly. Research among users showed that information on what Drenthe has to offer was difficult to find. Another drawback for users was that the website was not responsive.
Additionally, managing the website required some attention. There were multiple websites and an app, all connected to different management systems.
Analysis of the old website of Drenthe
How to find a new website designer
“With all our questions we went to look for a website designer who could help us with those points.” explains Karin Wolfs of Marketing Drenthe. “Based on the prepared briefing we quickly found Insiders and their Citynavigator platform. In the first meetings it became already clear to us that they understood exactly what our needs are as a regional marketing organization. We directly liked their clear way of working in which the visitor is the center, in combination with the further development in cooperation with a large number of other Dutch cities and regions.”
Wolfs continues: “As Insiders already had a large number of touristic modules and functions available, we could really focus on the functionality and interface of the website. For example: the event calendar has been developed for 10 years, so we didn’t need to think about that anymore. We were curious to see how a ‘product’ like Citynavigator would handle our Drenthe branding, but we had all the freedom to adjust the design to our corporate branding. From the start we’ve been intensively involved in the process to ensure that the website would be in line with all other marketing campaigns. The website really became an extension of our Drenthe branding, next to all the offline materials and TV-campaigns.”
The visitor of the website is at the center
The large amount of content on the webpages of the old website created an overkill of information and endangered the user experience. The navigational structure was too extensive, and visitors could not easily find their information.
Through a so-called top task analysis, the information searched for most often on the website was mapped out. Through the online channels of Marketing Drenthe (website, Facebook and the digital newsletter) the users were asked for which information they visited the website.
Results of the top task analysis for the website of Drenthe
Generally, Drenthe is known as a biking and walking area, but as we know from the top task analysis this does not need to be the reason why people visit the website. For Drenthe it became clear that the majority searches what there is to do in Drenthe. This is, with a big majority, the main reason why people visit the website.
Creating a new website structure
Together with the marketingteam of Drenthe we developed the new structure for the website in a special card sorting workshop. The number of pages and amount of content has been reduced by 30%. When structuring the information and creating a new website navigation we focused on the "route" the user would take on the website. When someone visits a website, he does so with a certain aim in mind. For exmple, he might be looking for information about a special hiking route or he might want to sign up for an event. The main purpose of the website should be to fulfill the aim of the visitor as quickly as possible. Therefore, we created special landing pages which redirect the visitor as quickly as possible to the information he is looking for.
Design principles ensure an optimal user experience
Drenthe is a very beautiful part of the Netherlands, ready to be experienced. For that reason, we chose a new fresh color pallet which does justice to the beautiful surrounding. To make sure that all visitors (of all ages and across all devices) can optimally enjoy Drenthe, several design principles were set:
1. Translation of the (online) corporate branding
Contemporary modern online corporate branding based on the offline corporate branding. The recognizable red and black has been enriched with a new color pallet, which is a nice extension for the online channel.
2. Less is more
The website needs to be easy to use and understand. The interface cannot result in any unclarities.
3. Quality over quantity
Less content, more quality content. Short texts and a lot of space for visuals.
4. Funnel model: from inspiring to informing
The further you click through on the website, the more content is provided in text form rather than through rich media.
5. Simple navigation
Avoid content overload. Short texts in combination with a small number of (super relevant) choices need to ensure a great customer journey.
The new design of the Drenthe website