Zoe’s Cruises & Tours
Responsive Website Design & Development
Zoe’s Cruises is a well-loved travel agency located in East Sacramento since the 1980s. The firm dedicates a large percentage of its proceeds to an international cast of animal welfare charities. The audience for cruise travel is generally older retirees, some who have been repeat customers for decades.
The agency’s website, built 15 years prior, had become a jumble of content wrapped in out-of-date source code. The site had become unmanageable for both administrators and users. Although not needing anything radical, the agency sought a more user-friendly experience to complement that of its team.
I was first enlisted to perform an in-depth site analysis. In this first phase, I surveyed Zoe’s site for content, organization and against its competitive landscape. Originally a flat collection of more or less independent pages, a thorough re-architecting was in order. The resulting “Content Funnels” make the site more cohesive, removing cognitive load. The revised navigation reduced options to a more manageable five options.
Satisfied by my recommendations, I was then hired to translate them into a manageable Wordpress site. Although limited by older identity materials, I introduced a system of typographic hierarchy and ample white space to freshen the visual design. The improved legibility and a modular structure helped improve legibility and accessibility.
To the casual observer, this site appears to fail in ‘obvious’ ways. I know that, coming into the project, I also made certain assumptions about what an online travel agency site should “be.” The client made the intentional decision to remove “digital conversion” from the online equation. In its place, Zoe wanted to encourage the personal connection her success has always relied on. The agency emphases direct conversations with her extended team to differentiate itself.
The response to the site has been overwhelming positive from the Zoe’s audience. Although its content has not grown, her staff is able to manage departure dates and specials. The organizational schema has held up over time, the redesign a win.