Finding the right travel website designers
Back in the 1970s, the Internet and travel websites didn’t exist.
In those days, finding someone to generate a software solution usually involved finding a programmer. The more eccentric the individual was and the more incomprehensible techno-speak they used, the more in demand they typically were!
It is only over the last 20 years that sponsoring companies have started to deemphasise the need for perceived technical genius in the sense of coding. That is an important change driven by the realisation that automating (programming) a bad business process on a website doesn’t give you a good process – it simply gives you a faster bad one.
Therefore, today one of the chief criteria when looking for travel website designers might be organisations or individuals who, at the outset, have an excellent understanding of the basic travel industry.
They also need to understand the end customer and peer-to-peer business processes within the travel industry because if they don’t, then technical skills alone may not compensate for their naivety and you may be back to fast bad processes.
Another huge change in the selection criteria applied to travel website designers over the last 10 to 15 years has come about as a result of the increased display capabilities of technology.
The explosion of graphics and intuitive customer engagement models, such as touch screens, has meant that graphic design has become an exceptionally important skill for travel website designers. An extensive and demonstrable track record in that is important, as you may know if you have ever seen sites where such skills were presumably absent.
Customer interface psychology
This is closely linked to the above-mentioned business process skills but with some differences.
Perhaps the easiest way to envisage this is to consider those websites you might have visited, where you find yourself looking at a screen containing no clear indication as to what you need to do next to progress further. Other examples include screens asking for information which is highly ambiguous.
Website designers need to bring skills to the table that allow them to empathise with the customer engagement experience, so as to ensure that everything required is visible when needed and presented in a logical sequence.
Having earlier slightly downplayed this area, such skills are, of course, as important today as they have ever been.
Examples of what happens when a website designer is unable to deploy such skills, can regularly be seen on websites when clicking buttons that do nothing or which generate only technical error messages.
A commitment to quality
If you have ever used a website which failed to function correctly, you should be questioning not the programming error but why it was not picked up in the website developer’s testing regime.
It is essential that travel website designers have a total cultural commitment to quality inspections before they release their products to you for final testing and acceptance. This should not be a role that they somehow delegate to you.
Post implementation support capabilities
Even the best-engineered websites will occasionally encounter some form of technical problem.
In such situations, your business may come to a grinding halt until it is fixed. That is not the time you’ll want to find that there is nobody available in your designer’s office to assist or that they can’t get back to you for a couple of weeks because they’re too busy.
Be absolutely certain that you understand what support they will be able to provide you with and under what response time circumstances. Don’t wait to have that discussion for the first time in the context of a live technical crisis!