Warner Leisure Hotels have hotels and villages in some of the UK's most picturesque and historic areas; some inland, some are on the coast the hotels are normally large stately homes or even a castle. Aimed at an older target market the hotels are adult only with a focus dining, daytime leisure activities and high quality entertainment every evening.
Warner Leisure hotels the task was to improve the look and feel and align it with the new branding. The constraints were that I had to work within the current grid structure and functionality of their existing site. The whole site lives on the Tridion content management system so needed to be designed with this in mind.
Filling the gaps in the guidelines
The first thing to look at was the new brand guidelines, I looked over the guidelines that were lacking majorly in the areas of digital execution which we needed to help out with. It was at this point that we decided to tackle reskin by breaking down the site into components and stages that each component would be at along with filling the hole in the guidelines.
Break it down
The approach was to redesign the site by not just looking at overall pages, but breaking it down into the component pieces that make up the site. This was done by looking at the pages first to create a ‘vision’ and then breaking down the site into its components parts and designing them to align with that ‘vision’.
Some key design decisions that were made:
De-clutter the amount of elements on the page and also the variety of font styles, font sizes, types of buttons
Make more of the photography of the beautiful hotels, activities and entertainment.
Open up the spacing vertically, we could do this because it din't affect the grid and gave the site a more open and airy feel.
Gave the site chunkier controls for touch screens
For key components there was also an additional option to be switched into ‘Sales mode’. This gave the client the capability to commercialise the site in the times when a sale was on, or a particular hotel to be filled. It also meant that the visual language for sales was more integrated and considered.
I then compiled a design system document along with the working photoshop psd and illustrator eps files so that going forward Warner Leisure Hotels had complete digital guidelines and the templates they needed to create assets for future campaigns.