BMI unveils first phase of new website

Press release – 25 September 2008 – BMI

bmi, London Heathrow’s second largest airline, has today unveiled plans for a redesign programme for flybmi.com.

The first stage in the programme has gone live with the launch of the new home page, designed by Prospect.

The rest of the site will evolve over the coming weeks and will be complete in time for the launch of the airline’s winter timetable on 26th October 2008. Digital agency Prospect will be working with bmi’s in house e-commerce team to deliver the updated brand experience.

The new home page is set against a stunning skyline of London taken from photo sharing website flickr – which is an industry first. The landscape aerial shots have been chosen to evoke the sensation of looking out of an aircraft window.

The images will be refreshed every few weeks and will feature top bmi destinations. To ensure everyone can enjoy the images, the home page will self adjust to fit any screen size.

Plans are also underway to update the images to reflect the time of day and seasons along with a global online competition to find the best skyline images for use on the bmi site.

The website designs reflect bmi’s new focus on the business traveller in both visual appeal and ease of use. Prospect has reworked the online bmi brand to closely integrate with new advertising creative by M&C Saatchi.

The simple navigation structure enables customers to quickly find the information most important to them. The booking, managing and check-in functions set a new standard for interaction on airline sites.

A crucial factor to achieving this is to keep the pages uncluttered with self-tidy menus, developed to save on screen space. The experience is bold and spirited, emphasising bmi’s business value for its customers.

BMI’s marketing director Katherine Gershon said: “A major part of our redesign programme was to make the navigation as clear and intuitive as possible so our customers could access the information they wanted in the fewest possible clicks.

“We also wanted to break away from traditional airline website design and re-create the feeling of flying on the website itself.  The usage of flickr photography does just that and enables us to engage with online communities and we are really excited by the social networking opportunities of this relationship.”

Scott Johnson, head of e-commerce development at BMI, added: “Continuing with our strategy of using the latest Microsoft.Net technology we have been able to develop an enriched user experience whilst improving response time.

“Built on top of our existing Web Services architecture we have been able to integrate partner content and services with the site, such as hotels and parking, as well as provide bmi content and services to selected third parties. Over the coming weeks the site will continue to evolve providing features such as improved registration processes, easier access to bookings, an improved frequent flyer member area and new web feeds.”

Anja Klüver, creative director at Prospect, concluded: “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with bmi’s marketing and e-commerce teams. They set the bar high and we just jumped.

“We are looking forward to the challenge of exceeding BMI’s and the industry’s expectations, especially when it comes to the site’s web 2.0 capabilities.”

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