We worked with VacationStyle to create a unique new project— an all-in-one site centered around the idea of packing a virtual suitcase which would allow users to do everything from planning outfits to purchasing them. VacationStyle relied on our team to make the complex process work.
Create a Destination Site to Combine Luxury Travel and High-End Fashion
VacationStyle came to us with a bold new concept: they wanted to create a website that would bridge the worlds of luxury travel and high-end fashion. Our challenge was to build an online destination where users could not only plan their trip, but also what to wear once they got there. Planning outfits would not be enough; users would need to be able to purchase the items they had selected through the site’s online store.
In order to pull this off, we knew we would have to do our research. We began by gaining some insight into the ins and outs of traveling, by conducting a survey among our team as well as their friends and families. We asked questions such as, “When planning a vacation, how do you select a destination?” and, “Where do you purchase new clothing before going on a trip?”
Build a Virtual Suitcase Which Would Allow Users to Pack, Plan, and Purchase Clothing
With more knowledge under our belts, the next step was to get to know our clients at VacationStyle, and to gain a better understanding of the exact look and feel they were picturing for their site. We then began our ‘Design Discovery’, where we worked closely with VacationStyle to fully grasp their goals and aspirations. This process culminated in a workshop where we were able to hear from various members of the VacationStyle team. During our workshop we also brought in outside influences such as external surveys, competitive and trend audits, and user testing results. Once we understood the refined and stylish aesthetic the site needed to portray, our design team got to work.
The team created a website with subtle background colors which would highlight the site’s photographs along with bold typographic moments. The site featured a header with drop down links to the site’s various sections such as its blog and its shop, as well as the site’s key element—the ‘My Suitcase’ function. The suitcase allows users to add clothing items from the shop, and then create an account where they can plan a trip—complete with exotic destinations—and then lay out their outfits day by day.
Integrate with Retailers to Allow for a Seamless Shopping Experience
The site featured a global footer which seamlessly incorporated social media by integrating with Instagram’s API. By utilizing their Media API, we were able to feature posts linked with the company hashtag. Users were then given the ability to purchase clothing items featured in the posts directly from the VacationSyle shop.
From our developers’ perspective, this site’s unique challenge was to integrate the site’s affiliate partners, and to make sure the information listed in the VacationStyle shop was up-to-date. With over 1300 products listed in the shop, it was important that our developers create a site which would automatically sync with external services, ensuring the listed prices and item availability remained accurate. Our developers created a custom auto-complete lookup widget to allow new items to be easily added.
A Site That Is Functional, Easy to Navigate, and Built to Grow
The end result was an easy to navigate site, which included a search feature that breaks searched term results down into categories rather than just providing a long list of items. We implemented filters in the shop which allowed items to be browsed by category, retailer or destination. Not only did our team build a site that functions beautifully on large screens, but a site built to function just as well on smaller phones and tablets, allowing users to plan their dream vacation from anywhere. The VacationStyle site was designed to anticipate scaling to more users and products. The site was built on Amazon Web Services cloud hosting which enables vertical and horizontal scaling to handle increased visitor traffic. With no restrictions on the number of users, sales, or products, the site was built for growth.