OK, so your job title might not include the word ‘designer’ – don’t worry! You can still have fun with the process of designing your property’s website. It can be even more fun when you get into it and focus on visual layouts, colours, pictures and themes. A welcome change from spreadsheets and numbers.
Here are a few expert tips to get you started.
Like any creative endeavour, it’s important to soak in what’s going on around you in order for you to be inspired. When you’ve been inspired, you’ll make something more beautiful. Start by following Muzli and Uplabs. Have a browse around their sites over your morning coffee, it’ll give you an idea as to what’s trending in the design world. Opening your eyes to what’s going on around you is also always a source of inspiration. Pay attention to advertisements for movies, and also for giants like Spotify, Netflix and Airbnb – they’re the leaders when it comes to creative best practise in a commercial sense.
Don’t underestimate UX
User experience has to be your number one concern. Your website should provide a smooth and friction-less experience between the product and potential guest. Imagine the most beautiful and shiny car, but without a wheel! It’s useless. A website with a bad UX is the same, it loses its main function and will end up frustrating your user – you can probably think of a time yourself when you used a badly designed website and it only ended up irritating you. With a good UX, your guest won’t actually need to think about how to navigate – their moves around your site will be very natural. Their overall experience will be a pleasant one, making people buy, return, and recommend!
A picture paints a thousand words (or maybe even 60,000)
This isn’t just in relation to hotels or properties – it’s why social networks like Instagram are thriving. Let’s remember – our brains process images 60,000 times faster than words. Also – a picture is pretty to look at! As a hotel, we cannot stress how important it is to show off your property as best you can, through pictures. Great pictures will be the difference between someone scrolling mindlessly through your website quickly and them actually being made pause by something visually pleasing and eye-catching. Hire a professional photographer and/or videographer and get yourself a bank of stunning content that will truly sell your hotel experience.
Throughout the website design process, don’t lose sight of your property’s identity. Keep in mind its personality, qualities, and strengths – everything that makes it unique and appealing. The challenge is translating your property’s atmosphere into the digital environment, seamlessly. This makes your potential guest feel like they’re already there! Take your inspirations and let them influence you, but always stay true to your own property – whether it’s funky, casual and vibrant, or classical, charming and formal – you do you!