A Shared Vision, Realized
The new Travel+Leisure digital brand had to sync up with the rebrand on the print side of the business. For us, this meant an aggressive timeline with an unmovable launch date. Fortunately, the team at T+L shared our vision for great quality while understanding the implications of their deadline, enabling us to utilize an agile workflow effectively. Because we were aligned with the same goal and because both teams were incredibly solution-oriented, we were able to work collaboratively and nimbly, righting ourselves as soon as we had even an inkling of a feeling that we were teetering off-course. We studied the brand together and made decisions around which pieces we wanted to bring over from the print side of the house and which pieces we wanted to be digital first. We helped them to simplify their brand, reorganizing the way their content was laid out and giving their beautiful travel imagery a chance to shine. Smartly utilizing analytics they had on hand, we were able to help them re-architect all the great content they had and pushed them forward in creating a sleek, easy-to-use design that reflected the brand’s core values. The teams at ETR and T+L gelled, each sharing a vision for what the brand could evolve into and an enthusiasm for tackling tough problems with strategic solutions. We worked so well together that halfway through the rebrand, T+L asked us to work with their back end team to integrate the new user experience and designs we’d so carefully crafted together.
Thinking Outside the Single Platform
Two things that came up frequently in our discussions. There was the need for the new site design to be inspirational, to be the catalyst for their users to pursue their wanderlust. But inspiration wasn’t the only goal. The site was also a place where users could get travel tips, find the best places to stay, and the best things to do - essentially, it was also a travel tool for world wanderers everywhere. Once we architected the strategy that we thought would elegantly meet both of these goals in a way that would give T+L users a unique experience, we meticulously mapped out how each of these experiences would change to fit the platform from which the user was interacting with the brand. What was the experience in the magazine? Was there off-platform content syndication we had to account for in, for example, hotel lobbies? How did that translate digitally? Even though our task was to rebrand T+L from a digital lens, we still had to be in sync with the rebrand in all media to create a consistency where users could recognize T+L no matter how or where they engaged with the brand. From there, we worked to create the ideal experience on each digital platform: desktop, tablet, and mobile. We recognized that users engaged with these platforms differently and strived to tailor each experience to its platform while keeping the design and overall user interface consistent.