Destination Queenstown (DQ) is the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) responsible for the marketing of Queenstown as the Southern Hemisphere's premier four season lake and alpine resort. Their website is one of their key marketing tools.We designed their website for them in 2004 and undertook a quick refresh in 2009 but 2011 was the time for a complete and thorough revision.
Redevelop and redesign a website previously lacking in time investment and make it the most user-friendly destination marketing site in New Zealand.
- Create a website around the end user
- Identify appropriate user groups and create the website to fulfil the goals of all users
- Lead users through the site seamlessly and onto operator sites
- Promote the area as a four-season destination
- Develop independent trade, media and conference zones
- Develop a mobile site
- Deliver the site in four other languages
- Have a members’ area along with an operator login system for product updates
Through the use of extensive user testing, business analysis and close collaboration with the marketing team of Destination Queenstown, we have produced a suite of high quality websites that target specific user groups yet ensure consistency in navigation and brand presence.
Multiple zones: Using our Thrive CMS product we can easily create a suite of websites (we call them zones) that can all be managed from a single content management administration area. This makes it easier to share common software, content and imagery across each site, but also allows for complete flexibility in menu structure and content structure.
Destination Queenstown has several user groups: media, consumers, non-English speaking consumers, trade, conference and their own members. Our focus was to create the consumer website as the priority and lead design, from which all the other zone designs would follow. However, we also made sure the content and navigation on the other zones suited the needs of each individual group by taking the time to listen carefully to each department of DQ and devising the information architecture appropriately.
Operator listings: Listings promoting the various activities, accommodation and transport in Queenstown are core to the website and its functionality for users. Destination Queenstown uses the TourismData database system to store, manage and display operator information on their site. The design of operator listings has been based on strong usability testing and a focus on what the consumer is looking for at different stages of their website journey. The database system itself is now in its seventh year of production and has a comprehensive array of features such as:
- Dynamic search and display
- Mapping and Google directions integration
- Mobile functionality
- Integration with TripAdvisor
- Direct booking linkages to operators’ own websites
- Integrated operator videos
- A trip planning tool for consumers to create, save and share their own itineraries
Personalisation: The use of multiple blogs has added a personal aspect to the site and brought it to life. With our blogging tool, members of DQ staff from each department can ‘talk’ directly to their target audiences in a less formal manner. Where the site appeared to be a more formal, even stand-offish, site in the past, the new engagement with staff and more integrated communication afforded by the blogs means the site is much more personal in nature. This is especially important for the business to business side of the site.
Social media engagement: The introduction of social media has further enhanced the personalisation of the site and extended the reach of Destination Queenstown’s communications. Cabbage Tree created a social media strategy alongside the DQ marketing team, taking into account the organisation’s resources, what stage of engagement they were currently at and their level of comfort. Initially, Cabbage Tree’s online marketing team kick started the process, establishing accounts and content for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. From there the Queenstown team has quickly picked up the pace and now engage fully. The website has clear connections to their social media accounts and different departments profile their own staff via their own accounts. Again, all of this is integrated into a consistent design that reinforces the essence of the Destination Queenstown brand.
The key factors that contributed to the high quality result of this project fall mostly around the research, planning and engagement areas. This was one of our largest projects, reaching across their entire organisation, and as such required a clear understanding of the business, their customers and their intended direction.
The commitment to this project from the marketing team of Destination Queenstown, the time they invested into all aspects of the work and the whole business approach ensured the project was 100% ‘owned’ by Destination Queenstown. In turn that made our design, development and information architecture decisions easier and provided greater clarity of purpose to our team.
"The expertise and capability demonstrated by Cabbage Tree over several years of working together were key to re-appointing Cabbage Tree to undertake this significant redevelopment. We started the project with a good working relationship and completed it with a new level of respect and an even stronger relationship. The commitment to the project from all of the Cabbage Tree team was outstanding from the very beginning. We had some very specific requirements and opinions and Cabbage Tree were able to fulfil every one of those within the scope of the project as well as guiding us through the findings of substantial user testing and industry ‘best practice’ advice. Critically, the project was delivered on time, within budget and ultimately exceeded our expectations."
Graham Budd, General Manager - Marketing, Destination Queenstown