Hotel Hotel is a brand new art hotel in Canberra where everything in the hotel has been custom made by a selected group of Makers and Artists. Our client selected everything for the hotel from the concrete texture used throughout right down to the design of the tissue box covers.
Mongolo group’s vision for the precinct the hotel was in, was to create a new community near the Canberra CBD. The precinct was to include the hotel, several restaurants, a theatre, bars - you name it.
To create an engaging, informative and responsive website showcasing the uniqueness of the hotel. Aesthetics were key, whilst enticing the user to follow through with a booking despite needing to use a third party booking system.
Working for interstate clients, with various stakeholders also involved, threw up its own challenges. I knew communication would need to be key in delivering a polished end product.
GETTING TO KNOW THE USERS
Given our budget for the job was quite small, we did some digging and found that through research that had already conducted by Roy Morgan, we had a good sample of what our target audience would be. Young professionals, middle to upper class tourists, even politicians and grey nomads were highlighted to be the personas we needed to cater for.
Given the broad spectrum of these personas, and the situations in which they might engage with the website, our deliverable needed to be engaging, easy to use and informative.
Visually this site needed to be unique - arty and different. This presented a challenge - to balance the unusual visual aesthetics with usability.
Task analysis was also part of this stage and users told us they wanted to know what features each room had, and wanted high quality imagery to give them a good feel for the spaces within the hotel. Users also told us they don’t like going to a third party site when booking, however this was a non-negotiable so we had to think of ways to make this process a little less painful.
Our MVP was a fully responsive site that works on all devices, and showcases everything from the Makers and Artists of the hotel, to upcoming events, features of the rooms, and gives the user a clear, user-friendly call to action to book at this hotel.
Ideally we would have had a built-in booking system within the site but to do this properly there needed to be some serious money spent. Instead, we focused on a few small details that would give confidence to the user - e.g. when selecting the check-in date, the site automatically brings up the checkout date, eliminating the need for the user to click again, implying a speedy and efficient process. From here, a similarly branded check-out process (within the limited customising and styling of the design hotels booking system) made them feel they hadn’t left the original site at all.
I had a clear vision as to how I wanted the responsive site to work and some of the interactions to behave, so I spent time working through what each of the different states of the site would look like so I could have examples to show the client and developers. To translate this vision I liaised heavily with the site’s developers as well as the international Design Hotel booking process developers. This gave continuity and QA (quality assurance) to the polished product.
Hotel Hotel was a complete success.