As part of my role as Technical Director of a London brand and advertising agency, I was the technical lead and strategist for the new website design and build for Welcome Break. This project began in the winter of 2015 till the site was formally launched in May of 2016. The previous website was built on an inflexible and proprietary content management system, the website was not responsive (it had a separate mobile site) and the design and user experience was very dated, with limited social media integration and little personalisation.
Welcome Break wanted a more engaging and immersive website, with an easy and intuitive user experience and the flexibility to extend the site functionality and easily add new content. The website also had to incorporate the third-party hotel booking engine, easy and prominent newsletter sign up, have an extended and detailed journey planner and incorporate a rich social media integration. Preserving search engine rankings was a key consideration as was the promotion and availability of key brand partners within Welcome Break locations.
The website design and UX focused on clear and easily navigated information structure. This was achieved with a double menu, with the main menu prominently allowing access to key functional areas, such as finding hotels or service station locations, areas, the secondary menu allowing access to more static information. The website was built on the WordPress content management system, but was highly customised and bespoke in the key functionality areas. We worked closely with third parties to ensure the design and UX carried right through the user journey when visitors left the website to complete hotel bookings or newsletter signup.
The journey planner allows users to plan their journey, find service station and hotel locations on the way, and go directly to find service station facilities or begin the hotel booking process. A roadmap of improvements, including new and extended functionality, is ongoing.
I worked with Nigel for several months on the specification and creation of a new website for Welcome Break. Nigel was instrumental in the strategic and technical direction at all stages of the design, implementation and long term planning for the new site. His total commitment to the cause and energy helped enormously in bringing to life the new site and ultimately a very successful launch.