Menai Holidays is a family-run holiday cottage agency with a portfolio of 440 cottages located across North Wales, from quaint retreats to modern beachside pads. Possessing an extensive knowledge of North Wales acquired over 18 years, the team at Menai Holidays are passionate about delivering a unique and high-quality experience for all guests.
The requirement was to re-design and build the website for Menai Cottages, ensuring it was full of character and the same family values the Menai brand is known for. Menai also required two brand-new additions, Menai Explore and My Menai. The project was essentially three websites in one.
Menai Holidays placed great importance on retaining the core elements of their recognisable brand identity whilst also looking to refresh their colour palette, typography and iconography. It was imperative for the new website to present the quirky and outdoorsy nature of the company. Moreover, it was essential for their core values and traits – trust, passion, friendliness, and a dedication to providing a high-quality experience – to be portrayed via the refreshed design.
The project commenced with an extensive research phase enabling us to understand Menai Holidays’ aims, objectives and the competitive landscape. We participated in a workshop exercise, whereby key members of the design and technical teams at CSI Media collaborated with Menai to map out everything that the website needed to achieve on multiple fronts; functionality, content management and user experience. We audited the current website, evaluating its positives and potential improvements, and also reviewed competitor websites, analysing what they did well and where we could diversify.
Research indicated that 50% of users were return users and, therefore, it was important to retain key elements of the current design for brand familiarity, onboarding and ease-of-use for Menai’s more 'mature' demographic.
From print design and brand identity to user interface – there were many considerations during the design process to ensure that the online and offline communications deliver a cohesive message. Initially, we developed wireframe prototypes and presented these to the team at Menai Holidays. From then on, we worked very closely with the team ensuring that each touch point would deliver an optimal user experience for the target audience.
By working closely with the team at Menai, we were able to design and develop a solution that effectively meets each of Menai’s requirements, and integrates the three features…
Menai Holidays required a new, engaging digital experience that would encourage users to book cottage breaks via the ‘Menai Cottages’ section. The system build includes the following functional and content management capabilities:
The first new addition was to create an online guide of everything North Wales known as ‘Explore North Wales’. The Menai team have a wealth of local knowledge to share with their customers and how they can make the most of their time in North Wales - from beautiful beaches and scenic hikes to alpine rollercoasters and surfing - it was our job to get that knowledge to them. The build included:
The second new addition was to develop a customer login area known as ‘MyMenai’. The idea is to enable users to enhance their experience further with several features such as; managing bookings, finding nearby attractions and saving their favourite activities/cottages. The build included:
As part of the project, we also created brand guidelines ensuring that all marketing communications deliver a consistent look and feel. This helps to build a strong 'Menai' brand image.