Straddling the River Avon in the southwest of England, the seaside city of Bristol offers an unorthodox, creative spirit alongside its local industrial heritage. Now, Destination Bristol’s new website, as designed by New Mind | tellUs, now Simpleview, reflects the city's innovative edge—all while raising the bar for destination marketing in the U.K.
Destination Bristol set out to create a web presence that was new and exciting. As Richard Veal, managing director of Simpleview Europe noted, Bristol was already an iconic brand and the team at Destination Bristol were not only open to, but actively demanding that we go beyond the limits of where they had gone before.
The resulting site, with a contemporary image-led format utilizes a quirky font and motivational, up-beat content. The design quality of the site can be attributed to the collaborative approach adopted for the project, and the strategy of the website was brought to life with the help of three key areas: user-generated content, intelligent search design and income generating opportunities.
Destination Bristol aimed to emphasize the rich tapestry of attractions, activities and events which contribute to the destination’s overall offerings. Rather than use a large hero image format, a more flexible content tile layout was selected, with each tile capable of representing a whole range of messages including tweets, videos, new restaurant launches and Instagram photos.
Each page of the site has also been carefully designed with a focus on its content and any related priority calls to action. The website sets out to represent a new type of destination website, which is curated through photos, video and social media supplied by tourism sector stakeholders, the local community and destination visitors. The new search layout spans the full width of the page, rather than being limited to a column on the right. This provides improved visibility and more space to include the parameters pertinent to the search. The maps featured are stylized versions of Google Maps, which adjust according to whether the site is being viewed during the day or night, like a satellite navigation display. Lastly, income generating opportunities are presented in a subtle and intuitive manner, minimizing any editorial integrity. This presents providers with a platform for additional exposure.
The new design is fully mobile optimized and offers translation options that reflect key overseas markets. There are a number of new features including social media plugins for individual businesses, increased content through blogs and itineraries and improved navigation.
“From the beginning we knew it would be a big job,” shared Destination Bristol’s Chief Executive, John Hirst. “Simpleview responded well and the hard work began with both our dedicated team and their team working very closely together through the duration of the challenging project. Feedback from our members has been very encouraging and we look forward to the new site pushing all the boundaries and being a huge success for years to come."