Cutting corners when developing a travel website can lead to hidden costs later in the project, leading travel technology specialist Zolv has warned.
The Leeds-based developer, which has created sites for the likes of Virgin Holidays, issued the warning in a new whitepaper entitled ‘Designing A Modern Travel Website’.
The whitepaper says often it is the intangibles that aren’t stipulated in a design brief that are cut, but Zolv says often the end product differs markedly from the original brief.
So Zolv recommends firms do not scrimp on doing plenty of live research and testing with customers and involve the IT department at an early stage to avoid falling into this trap.
“Despite appearing to cut costs from the beginning of the project, these decisions nearly always incur hidden extra costs,” the whitepaper says.
Zolv sets out how user expectations are now higher than ever driven by high-use non-travel websites and digital services like Facebook, Gmail, Facebook and Pinterest.
It says this has made things increasingly complicated with websites expected to be updated regularly, offer fully-automated, self-service transactional functions and marketing, customer service and concierge portals.
This has made designing and building websites a multi-disciplinary task with the developer expected to have an array of expertise and skills.
Zolv’s whitepaper, available to download now for free, offers a range of “Pro Tips” for travel website developers drawn from the firm’ extensive experience of building sites for travel clients.
The whitepaper concludes with a “Big 5” takeaways:
1. Prioritise your design budget and put testing at number one
2. Avoid describing solutions in the design brief
3. Make sure tech is represented on the design committee
4. The businesses’ experience is just as important as the customers’
5. Establish your users’ needs