Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and is huge on arts and culture. To help its venues compete better domestically (Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch) and in the Australasian market (Sydney and Melbourne) we designed and built their first website. There are only five venues managed by this organization. We were challenged to make the site appear robust, busy, and present as many options as possible. The client had an extremely limited budget and were hoping we could piggyback off of the site we had designed for their sister-organization WellingtonNZ.com.
Zak Kinnaird (Visual Design)
Jemma Buckland (Project Mgmt)
James Ayers (Development)
In the kick-off meeting with the client we defined two user profiles: junior-level event planners and full-time professional planners. Both user profiles had similar and distinct goals that the experience needed to help achieve.
Event space booking was new territory for myself and the rest of the DNA staff so we spent a lot of time on competitor analysis. We wanted to look under the hood of any sites and apps that dealt with event planning and booking. AirBnB, VRBO, and Bookabach (regional to NZ) were all sources of inspiration.
Through wireframing and prototyping, I was able to capture the reality of what users are trying to accomplish and gain buy-in from the client on edgier design decisions we made.
Since this was going to be a brand new site, we did not have any specific KPI's or metrics to look at improving. We did, however, set up analytics and built some basic metrics to track. The client and DNA receive a monthly metrics report that's automatically generated from Google Analytics.
The biggest KPI we looked at was bookings. After a year of monitoring site traffic and coordinating reports with the venues, we determined that we had generated a 32% growth in bookings made overall. There was an 80% increase in booking from foreign entities.
It's important to note that user profiles are not personas. User profiles are used when a client already has a basic understanding of their users and do not opt for a deeper user research phase. The user research phase takes a client's basic knowledge of user activity and maps that onto a wide array of useful, research-based information. The output of this user research phase is a set of personas, which can go on to create other useful assets like experience maps. Profiles are a skeletonized version of a persona and should only be used to address heuristic changes to a product.