Hidden Venice Case Study
Hidden Venice Website
Dark Rome is a European/US based tour operator with a difference. They strive to make sure people get the most out of their tour experience in European cities such as Rome, Paris, and London. With limits on group sizes, the best tour guides with flawless English, reliable headsets and buses, Dark Rome works tirelessly to create a well-rounded, relaxing experience that its customers will never forget.
Dark Rome commissioned Lucidity to build a site for their Venice tours, hiddenvenicetours.com, with the same functionality as that of the client’s other sites, darkrome.com and myparisiantour.com. Design-wise, the client wanted a site that conveyed the feeling of Venice through the use of colour, font, and in particular, strong imagery. This requirement was influenced by the company’s target audience, who wanted to be engaged visually. The Project Manager entrusted the task of designing and building the site to the Design and Development team. The process in all took approximately 12 weeks.
The design process began in early January with the wireframe, which was the longest part of the process. “It took a couple of weeks going back and forth to ensure we got it right before we even looked at any aesthetics. After that the process was pretty straightforward. We presented two designs and they right away opted for one,” says The Head Designer.
From the outset, the client wanted the use of best practice when it comes to placing elements on the page and in relation to user experience also. “This gave the opportunity to document the best practices we’ve been working with on all our projects here…this was a worthwhile thing to do, as we have them on hand as a resource for future projects.”
Overall, the team was very pleased with the design work done on the website. “We like the look of the site. It was a very collaborative process between the design team here and we think the feel of the user experience is among the best we’ve managed.”
The primary task for the developers was to integrate the Hidden Venice site into the bespoke .NET CMS system that was in place on the other Dark Rome sites. This would enable web administrators to update and manage the new website in the same way as the other sites.
Creating an accessible User Interface (UI) was another important task to attend to. “We used a feature creep because there was such a lot of content for some of the pages. This entailed splitting the content into different pages and adding accordion menus to one of the sections in order to make the document more readable.”
Modifying the way in which users searched for tours which also required a completely new design, something which gave the team a good insight into the tourism/travel industry and how the booking process works in general.
Working With the Client
The Head Designer sums up the relationship with the client nicely. “I felt the client was very open to suggestion as long as it was backed up with solid reasoning, that they came to the project informed and with a clear vision of what they were after, all of which is pretty rare.”
Take a look at the finished site here.