We have just completed work on our most recent project, for the wonderful folks over at Stoke By Nayland Hotel, Golf Course & Spa, and are incredibly proud of the end result. Spanning 8 months, the Stoke By Nayland project was one of the largest that we have taken on, and, for a resort so heavily ingrained in the local area, it was a fantastic opportunity to put our collective minds to work and design and produce something that would exceed expectations.
“Upon receiving this project, I knew it was going to be big and would need to include a lot of different features. As such, I knew it needed careful planning and management throughout, and in particular, a lot of foresight and attention from the very outset. Before starting the project I prepared an in-depth plan with the team. This and the timeline were both run through with the clients at the first opportunity. By doing so, we were able to establish a roadmap that everyone was on board with, and that was realistic. Because the clients were completely engaged in the project, and our process, we were able – with regular communication and meetings at key stages – to keep to this.
There were, as you’d expect with any large-scale project, some delays, but through discussion and compromise, we soon overcame them. Also, by adding time ‘buffers’ to the original plans it helped accommodate any potential delays.
Whilst this project was a success, WDL cannot take full credit for the success of it (or any project we work on), as it is just as much down to the enthusiasm and hard work of our clients as it is ours. It’s important to establish a partnership between both parties early on, nurture it throughout, and continue it beyond the completion of the project. The relationship with all of our clients doesn’t end when their project “goes live”. We make ourselves available to discuss future plans and marketing and we provide ongoing support and maintenance to keep sites fresh, up-to-date and engaging.”
“As this was such a large project with many different departments to their business, the client needed a detailed UX prototype to layout the key journeys of the website. We started by mapping out the key sections of the website and then looked at how users would interact between these sections, as there was a lot of crossover and cross-promotion needed.
To achieve this we created a prototype that had specific landing pages, such as the hotel, where a user would find everything related to the hotel within the one section, making it much quicker to find information. To the integrate cross promotion we allowed the client to add offers which spanned multiple departments, e.g. a hotel spa stay, so these would appear in both the hotel and spa sections, so a user visiting just the spa section would also see this offer, without the need for them to have visited the hotel section of the website.
This has greatly improved the visibility of offers and this functionality has also allowed the sharing of events and news content to work in the same way, meaning a user is always seeing related content even if they only visit one part of the website.”
“We created a prototype that had specific landing pages, such as the hotel, where a user would find everything related to the hotel within the one section, making it much quicker to find information.”
“I’ve worked on many sites of all shapes and sizes in my time at WDL, but none have been as feature rich, detailed or fulfilling as Stoke by Nayland. The site couples meticulous design, subtle effects and quality imagery with coherent user journeys, a clear hierarchy of content and easy to use functionality.
Working with such a well-known and historical local brand, it was vital that the development of the site was executed with minimum disruption to their business practices and was easy to administer for a number of members of staff, managing the many different departments of the organisation.
Clear and constant communication, both internally and with the client was critical to the success of the project. This was especially true with the development stage, where the site needed to tie in with external systems and offer a range of content types, each with varying end-points for the user. Expectations, requirements and assumptions (an Achilles heel for any project) needed to be clearly managed on both sides so that the final product not only met the brief but, more importantly, slotted into the business with ease.”
“I’ve worked on many sites of all shapes and sizes in my time at WDL, but none have been as feature rich, detailed or fulfilling as Stoke by Nayland.”
“From the very start of the project, it was clear that a new website was not only going to be an invaluable source of information for Stoke by Nayland’s customers, but also a key tool in directly driving sales. It was for that reason that ensuring the user journeys, calls to action and the tone of voice of all messaging was up to scratch.
Getting a good understanding of the business and their marketing plans moving forwards played a big part in getting this right and we were able to design user journeys that were seamless and easy to follow to reduce the risk of drop-off points as well as write compelling messaging and calls to action that spoke directly to Stoke by Nayland’s customers in a language they understood.
Since the launch of the website we have also agreed to work alongside Stoke by Nayland’s in-house marketing team to offer support, guidance a strategy to their digital output.”
“We were able to design user journeys that were seamless and easy to follow to reduce the risk of drop-off points as well as write compelling messaging and calls to action that spoke directly to Stoke by Nayland's customers”