Travel to London UK
Travel to London UK is the latest in the series of small footprint experimental web projects that I have designed, built and maintain myself, in my spare time.
This desk-top / adaptive web experience celebrates our magnificent capital city and promotes the tourist industry, in particular it features 68 amazing attractions, enables you to book tickets and includes information about travel, transport options and hotels.
The ‘killer app’ is the route-planner which people are beginning to find and use. This ‘London attractions route-planner’ is set up to navigate you directly to each of the attractions from where ever you are (or plan to start your journey) in Europe. You can use the route-planner for alternative destinations too.
The desk-top website is accompanied by a parallel mobile optimised site which the visitor is automatically diverted to if using a smart phone or small mobile device. The content on the optimised site is specifically designed for mobile, the same way is it is for an Adaptive Web Design. The optimised site has a very small footprint, designed to run quickly and efficiently over 3G and 4G networks. While the content (images and narrative) and navigation have all been optimised, the mobile version still contains the same core functions as the desk-top, in particular the route planner which fires up Google Maps so that you can sat-nav your way into your destination.
Travel to London UK was launched during the first weekend of April, 2013. This proposition is an an evolution of the highly successful Travel to Olympics website, launched in 2011 and is now been decommissioned. The concept may be redeveloped for future Olympics.
Travel to Football
Travel to Football was launched in 2012 and offers traveling fans a route-planner to stadiums of opposing teams. The current version of the desk-top site provides the following functionality:
- Route planners with pre-populated stadium details for top five UK Football leagues (Barclays Premier, nPower League 1,2 and Championship).
- Route planners with pre-populated stadium details for UEFA Champions League
- Route planners with pre-populated stadium details for UEFA EURO
- Rail journey planner (linked to ticket booking engine)
- Sports news feeds – with a football focus.
There is a mobile optimised version of the site which provides the main route-planner functionality for Smart Phone user with Google Maps installed. The design has been built to perform well over mobile phone networks. TravelToFootball route- planner is integrated to Google Maps to provide full sat-nav capability for traveling fans to use en-route to football stadiums all over the UK and Europe.
Travel to St Ives
Travel to St Ives is a multi-channel marketing programme who’s aim is to promote local businesses and the holiday trade in St Ives, Cornwall. It is self funded, and evolutionary.
The website forms the anchor point and links to websites of local business for directions and more information. Website formally called StIvesTweets has recently been re-branded as ‘Travel To St Ives’ and now includes a route planner to guide visitors to this ancient fishing village on the West Coast or North Cornwall, from anywhere in Europe. The site relies on high quality photography and a narrative that describes it as it is; A beautiful destination for a holiday or a weekend break.
The desk-top site ‘Travel to St Ives’ is accompanied by a mobile optimised site of the same name. We have several hundred visitors to our website during each month with a marked increase during the holiday season. This has been entirely organic growth and has only resulted from natural search, referals from social media platforms and local offline campaigns (no paid search yet).
While most of the marketing has been through leading social networking platforms, additional offline marketing has included posters on local buses, distribution of business-cards promoting Twitter and Facebook page and a joint venture on an overhead banner across the High Street. Posting up local news, events, commentary has developed a healthy and steadily growing following. St Ives Tweets is now part of an established online community (1000+ followers on twitter and over 100 likes on Facebook).
Send a Parcel to
I launched ‘Send a Parcel to‘ in 2010. It was the first in a series of lean websites that I designed and build over the next few years. The page design works well on a desk-top, lap top or tablet and will easily re-platform to mobile optimised website. The site is integrated to social media platforms Twitter (@Send_a_Parcel) and a Facebook application (facebook.com/SendAParcel), both of which can drive traffic to the site.
The website identifies UK domestic couriers, European and global couriers who have coverage in across specific regions and territories. Key strengths and specialisms are summarised for each courier service together with click-through links to booking engines. Additional advice is provided on quality of service (tracking, security, timeliness, collection and delivery options), insurance, packaging / sending parcels across international boundaries. The aim of the website is to provide single place where residential and business visitors can quickly review all relevant options and select the right courier for the specific requirement.
I have has designed, built and launched each of these sites and continue to maintain them with invaluable technical problem solving and support from Gareth Vaughan, who I highly recommended.
I have many more ideas in the pipeline, my biggest challenge is prioritising these ‘hobbies’ over family life, friendships and working for my customers and employers.
If you are interested in adopting lean design strategy for your business, there are many different options available for websites, but the key to success will be how well a multi-channel strategy is implemented around the website, i.e. mobile, social media integration, digital marketing and offline marketing options.