Evolving New Zealand.com Webinar
Tourism New Zealand Websites Manager David Brem ran a very informative webinar on 3rd July in regards to the improvements that are being made to www.newzealand.com in the near future.
Click here for the Tourism New Zealand presentation
Our highlights from the webinar are below.
They are not just looking at the website from the point of view of Active Considerers they have instead created personas. These four personas are based on 4 key differentiators – knowledge of New Zealand, preferred travel style, planning preferences (strict itinerary or flights and nothing else) and stage in holiday lifecycle.
They went through the site and looked at how different personas would absorb the information. So for someone who has a low knowledge of New Zealand searching geographically would not be appropriate as they wouldn't know where to start. Instead they are likely to begin with looking up what activities are on offer. However, an Australian visitor is likely to have a greater New Zealand knowledge so may head straight to the regional pages.
They have established 5 key components of newzealand.com development. Consistency of interactions, business listing access, designing for the most common user journeys, orientation and way finding and reducing cognitive load (don't make me think). Based on these 5 key components they have been testing the usability of the site in all of the key markets to make it more user friendly.
The website has already been changed to make business listings easier to find as they have realised that conversion has been light from the site so they need to up weight the businesses. The navigation has been updates so that users can clearly see where they are on the site via breadcrumbs on each page.
The border on the home page has been changed to incorporate destinations and things to do so people can get to where they are interested in quickly.
The pages themselves will be changing so that there is a differentiation between official New Zealand content and articles. This will be introducing tabs onto the regional pages to be able to arrange this information in an easy to understand layout.
Maps will still be important to support the information but they will no longer be used to navigate the site.
The filters will be much clearer so you will only find accommodation listings under accommodation etc.
The new look regional pages will incorporate 3 key components in the banner rather than just having an image and everything on the Marlborough page will be about Marlborough.
Articles will still be important but they have struggled with them because a lot of the artciles are duplicating business listings rather than being 'fantastic stories' which is why business listings will be given equal importance to articles. They have found that headings have to reflect what is on the page for example users thought that "Getting Here" would hold all the information they required to reach New Zealand e.g. passports/visas etc. not just about what airlines came into New Zealand.
They are going to bring two more languages onto the site German and French as they are two of the big markets that Tourism New Zealand are concentrating on. Articles are translated based on the size of each of the markets and how many listings they can afford to have translated and whether the listing is of interest to that particular market.
In 2013 they highlighted four things that would be top of mind:
Hobbit – Increased opportunity to leverage the exposure of Middle Earth.
Social Media – Integration of their social media channels into NewZealand.com
Mobile – They are looking at tailoring a design for mobile. They are currently making the site mobile friendly and then stage 2 will look at whether they need to build something specific for Mobile.
Homepage – It has already been changed in key markets and they will likely need to make big changes to match the overall site navigation in August. They don't know exactly what this will look like but the scrolling is likely to go.