Challenge: Redesign Abaca Boutique Resort

I was tasked to redesign the current Website of Abaca Boutique Resort by TheAbacaGroup. This was my first major design project and it made me very anxious.

What is Abaca Boutique Resort

Abaca Boutique Resort, one of the most exclusive boutique resorts located in the Central Philippines, specifically in the island of Mactan Cebu. The Boutique Resort offers the tranquility of very private deluxe suites set in a lush tropical setting. Abaca Boutique resort belongs under The Abaca Group of Companies — a hospitality group providing high quality dining experience in Cebu city.

Challenge

The website redesign process can be challenging — as this means there is a direct comparison to what your work should base and improve upon, what if the current design is already good? I’ve found there are a few simple steps you can take to make the entire project much simpler, faster, and more successful.

For this project, the client has a very clear idea of what he wanted his redesigned website to be.
  • Website must be a one-pager while retaining the same pages (or sections) from the previous design
  • The design must appear to be more modern and more luxurious to truly reflect the resort’s brand
  • The overall goal of the site is to create awareness and generate sales leads

With the client mandates in mind, I was ready to start designing and implementing.

Solution

I considered several portfolio sites for inspiration.

The current website is fixed and scrolling was non-existent. As the image presents, it had many wasted spaces throughout the pages. I had to turn this fixed website with several pages into a one-page website with a simple interface that would allow customers to view everything neatly.

First, I tackled the issue of what fonts to use. I had to keep in mind who the audience of the website are when I chose the fonts. Since the website caters to people who want to relax and enjoy their vacation, I used a font that is considered relaxing. I looked for a cursive font that fit well with the ambiance of the resort. My search led me to the Playball font. This font fit my needs perfectly — the cursive was just right. I used it for the headers. As for the rest of the text, I used the same font of the Abaca Group branding, Century Gothic, to emphasize the brand.

Second, I had to choose what colors to use. As what I had seen in other websites, the ones I used for inspiration, the color golden brown made the page seem luxurious. So, I decided to use it for the buttons and other important parts. To make those parts pop out, I used gray and white for the rest of the fonts. It is important for each section to have distinction. This would make it easier for the audience to distinguish the sections and understand what the different sections are. By using different background and font colors, it made every section distinct from one another.

It also important for each section to have distinction and at the same time have the same level of importance in order to make the audience distinguish what that section is telling her or him. It makes every section distinctive to each other.

Lastly, I had to kill the boredom and weary of the eyes of the users. The most important factor for an exciting website are the images. The website would look dry if there were no images in it. I picked the images I used from the ones they sent to me. I incorporated those images into different parts of the website. I chose those pictures to capture the ambiance of the resort and attract the audience to the Abaca Boutique Resort.

Review & Launch

After putting all my effort in designing and implementing the product, I faced the most challenging part of the process. This part is when the client decided if I met their goals or not. While it may be the scariest part of the process, it also proved to be the most exciting.

It is a simple if/else condition of:

if(client == “wants”){
print "Mission Success."
}else{
print "Mission Failed. Start again."
}

The image above shows the first attempt of the redesign that I delivered to them. I was and am proud of it. Although I’m still quite new to the professional designing and so lack the experience and skills of a good designer, I know I had made some improvements.

Unfortunately, the client wanted a darker themed version of the website and I must redesign and restart the process. Of course, it was a little disappointing but I take it as a learning step. For now, I am at the “Else” part of the condition. I hope and know I can ace it from here! All the lessons I learned by myself and with my team, I know I can not only meet their expectations and needs but exceed them.

“You have to be able to accept failure to get better.”
 — LeBron James

A website redesign can be overwhelming with all the changes being made. Essentially you just must take it one step at a time like I did. Don’t forget to learn from others especially your team. Treat everything as a learning experience for you to get better. With that attitude, you are guaranteed to make a design that meets the expectations of your clients.