A NONA Design & Build
“We are all so impressed with NONA’s dedication and commitment, and the time they have invested. We will most definitely recommend their services to anyone who is looking to rework their site.” — Alisha Schenck, Go2Africa
Go2Africa is based in Cape Town, specialising in African tours, safaris and experiences. In operation since 1998, the company has catered for over 150 000 travellers, making them a trusted specialist in the luxury travel space. Their promise is to show consumers “Africa, better than anyone else” — a claim that’s effectively backed-up by their personalised, high-end service and the public feedback of numerous satisfied clients.
In order to maintain their high-end user-focused presence online, Go2Africa needed to modernise their existing website which was already 5 years old at the time. One of the key challenges here involved giving it an updated look while improving the core technical functionalities. Our client needed the site to be optimised in such a way that the media-rich website would look good but also perform well, regardless of where in the world users were accessing it from. This is a more difficult problem to solve technically than it first appears.
The project kicked off with initial discovery sessions, during which the two teams prioritised the objectives. The priority was creating a coherent user journey and experience, that offered better site and product searching, as well as an engaging “Plan My Trip” feature.
Working closely with our client, we proceeded with the UI and UX design, creating wireframes and eventually high-fidelity prototypes reflecting the new, modern design. Over a period of ten months, the project went through several design and development iterations, integrating feedback from the client and addressing technical challenges along the way.
Development: After enlisting the expertise of both NONA developers and Go2Africa front-runners, we came to the decision that we would build a large-scale Vue.js website. This was somewhat of a calculated risk, as there weren’t many use cases on using Vue.js for a large-scale site. This lead to a technical exploration in itself, which you can read more about here. It did however, pay off in the end.
User experience: We decided to modernise the user experience, by somewhat flattening the navigation structure and allowing for more free-flow navigation. By combining the concepts of lateral in-page navigation, and a powerful accessible global search tool, we offered users an easy way to traverse the depth of content available on Go2Africa.
The website features an interactive African destination map. Users can explore the map by clicking on featured countries, after which they are presented with a preview of top reasons to visit, as well as links to the destination page, accommodation, tours and safaris. Following the destination link leads to detailed descriptions of the country’s attractions, complemented by a video of destination highlights.
An essential planning tool offered on the a site is “Where to Travel When”, a travel calendar which features Go2Africa’s top travel destination suggestions for each each calendar month, allowing users to easily match their intended travel dates to the most suitable destination, ensuring they get the most out of their trips.
The enquiry form was designed for quick and easy completion, while still providing Go2Africa’s consultants with enough information to start planning tailor-made adventures for interested users.
With over 350 tours and safaris to choose from, it was important for users to be able to sort through the offers quickly and easily. To simplify the process, our team designed a page that allows visitors to filter the available options based on criteria such as destinations, desired experiences, number of people traveling, price range and length of trip.
Users looking for inspiration can visit the Travel Blog and navigate a number of informative blog posts by either browsing popular topics, or the listed categories.
By using a clever combination of object cache-ing and Amazon’s Cloudfront CDN, the team was able to achieve a 30ms average page load speed, despite the content-heavy nature of the site.
The new and improved Go2Africa site launched in October, 2017.
17.24%↑ average time spent on the site
10%↑ number of pages viewed per visit.
30min↑ page load speed
As part of our ongoing commitment to Go2Africa, we’ve been able to see the performance of the new site exceeding expectations in terms of organic traffic and performance, however, we noted that this organic traffic could be more impressive in terms of conversions. As part of our next phase we have put the following strategies in place to see improvements here, as part of a continuous process of improvement:
- We currently we have several A/B tests underway to test copy changes and call to action changes
- We are reworking mobile UX to encourage conversion and a better user experience altogether
- We are reworking core product pages to highlight the best-selling products
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