Crown Hotels

Website UX Redesign. We worked with Crown Hotels to redesign their public website with the goal of better representing their status as a prestige brand and educating customers about their broader brand offering.

Our challenge

Crown Hotels is a leading luxury hotel brand in Australia, and counts three Forbes five star rated hotels amongst its portfolio: Crown Towers Melbourne and Perth, as well as the Darling in Sydney. However, Crown was struggling to differentiate its hotel offering from its casino offering, and found that many customers were unaware of the different Crown Hotels brands and what they had to offer.

What we did

We performed a detailed discovery phase to uncover user and business needs, challenges, and opportunities. This included a range of stakeholder workshops, extensive user testing, and a full content and analytics audit of Crown’s existing website.

The insights we gained through this discovery process allowed us to design a more structured information architecture that supported varied user journeys and promoted conversion. It also allowed us to create a more user-focused page design that showcased the beauty of Crown Hotels properties, while still prioritising user needs.

How we did it

A partnership built on trust and transparency

We took a partnership approach to the project, working closely with key stakeholders at Crown Hotels to translate their internal business requirements into project goals that were informed and influenced by real user feedback.

We ran a number of stakeholder workshops with the Crown Hotels Marketing and Sales teams, as well as key subject matter experts from the Weddings, Spa, and Events teams. We also worked closely with Crown’s existing development partner to understand the requirements and opportunities presented by their chosen CMS. With such a large group of stakeholders, honesty and transparency were essential to the success of the project, and in response, we made open communication a central pillar of our ways of working.

A user-centred approach to booking

Our approach to discovery and design was focussed on understanding user needs and expectations to define a solution that was optimised for both user experience and conversion. We ran user testing sessions with prospective customers across both the corporate and leisure traveller audience segments to not only gain feedback on the existing website, but also to understand their pain points and expectations of travel more generally.

Through this process, we gained important insights into the functional UX aspects of the site, as well as user sentiment and motivations, which had important impacts on the direction of content and design for the new website.

As part of our discovery phase, we also conducted an analytics, SEO and content audit of the existing website, to determine conversion paths, user search behaviour, and the effectiveness of current content. The insights gained from these activities allowed us to construct a new information architecture (IA) that better reflects a user’s mental model and supports their path to conversion.

To make development handover as seamless as possible, we created high-fidelity wireframes, as well as a detailed technical specification document that outlined the behaviour and integrations of every component across the website.

Creating a holistic visual identity

Being a prestige brand and market leader, Crown needed the design of their new website to really show off the best their brand had to offer. Not only does Crown Hotels have a distinct visual identity, but each of their three hotel brands, as well as their individual service offerings, has its own branding and colour schemes. We worked closely with the Crown Hotels Marketing team to understand the relationships between each of these brands and services, and develop a visual hierarchy that would allow us to remain faithful to each brand’s identity, while maintaining a coherent visual experience for end users.

"To say that this was a mammoth task would be an understatement, however we couldn't have done it without the talented teams at Tundra" –– Meerah Tauqir, Digital & Brand Executive (Crown Hotels)

Solution

The new site design features a location-focused IA that more accurately reflects a user’s mental model when researching and booking hotel stays. User journeys through the site were carefully designed to enhance conversion without damaging Crown Hotels’ existing SEO rankings. Conversion is also optimised at a page level, with functionality and content working in tandem to promote user action and encourage further exploration of content.

The design of the new website presents a stunning portrait of Crown Hotels as a brand, with an emphasis on full-width imagery, clean lines, and white space. Each of Crown Hotels’ sub-brands has been carefully integrated into the design through typography and colour, while the use of consistent design patterns and styling across the site creates a holistic visual identity that groups all the brands together.

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