Macdonald Hotels briefed Equator as they felt that their
current site was not delivering in terms of usability or
results. There was a requirement to streamline the booking
process as well as put greater focus on the other areas for revenue
growth. They wanted to make more of a feature of their Golf, Spa,
Weddings, Business and Food & Drink facilities.
We were tasked with creating a new Macdonald Hotels' website
that would meet the following requirements:
- Simplify and improve the customer journey
- Create a forward thinking website that differentiated Macdonald
Hotels from their competitors
- Grow bookings and revenue through the site
Initial research into hotel website bookers revealed that mobile
and tablet visits were increasing exponentially, but were generally
badly catered for in the sector.
Creating a site that delivered an effortless experience on all
devices would allow Macdonald to capitalise on this huge, and
At the time "responsive design" was what
everyone was talking about but very few were able to do. We were
taking on the challenge to build one of the first big responsive
sites in the world.
Overcoming the challenges
One of our challenges was maintaining a first-class experience
across all devices. Macdonald wanted to be seen as more premium
than competitors by offering a diverse range of hotels (from luxury
hotels, to country houses, to boutique city centre locations),
along with high quality food and drink and additional packages.
This from-the-ground-up redesign meant a complete rethink of our
usual design process. User- testing the wireframes on various
devices in order to ensure a high-quality experience was delivered
across all of them.
We also embarked on the very weighty task of completely
re-writing the site's 600+ pages to have a stronger personality, be
better suited to on-screen reading and be much more
Through thorough usability testing of Macdonald Hotels' old
site, competitor sites and by testing the new site throughout
development, Equator were able to ensure responsiveness, develop a
new booking process and devise a new booking component.
Within mere months, the site had paid for itself
In the 9 months after the new responsive Macdonald Hotels site
launched, booking revenues had increased by almost £1.5 million,
despite fewer people holidaying in a wavering marketplace, fraught
Equator's new site for Macdonald Hotels has managed to defy the
market by increasing average booking revenue by 8%. Not only that,
but Macdonald Hotels was one of the first hotel sites in the world
to go live with fully responsive functionality on all devices.
The press have been quick to pick up on this exciting project -
It was recently showcased on UXBooth.com (the web's leading
publication written by and for user experience designers) and in
The Financial Times.
Not only did we pioneer a ground-breaking responsive design, we
also defied the economic downturn and helped Macdonald Hotels
improve their revenue.