Custom Website Design
Designing and building custom websites for Hotels is something that we are deeply passionate about
My marketing background of 26 years started as a graphic designer has evolved into digital design through Pebble Design which I started 18 years ago. My passion for design and clear communication through design, typography, image and colour psychology and now also our expanded team culture in design, has us firmly on the path to being one of the best hotel design agencies in the world.
As time has evolved web has become more and more sophisticated, especially today with fully responsive web design. I'd have to say web design is currently at a very creative turning point with what can now be done with regards to design with code and technology. The only real restriction with responsive design is the fact that when you design something to work, it's not just one screen size you're designing for. You're actually designing for many different screens. We do 17 media queries which cover over 30 screen sizes. So imagine one design and trying to visualize it over 17 different ways. So this is the design challenge and process we now face.
For us our design style is our signature as to what we do best. The team at Pebble put a lot of love, energy and effort into our custom designs.
Today it is far too easy to buy templates and the majority of websites are just templates, especially hotel websites. It's a very cookie cutter approach. Every property, every business is unique and deserves its own unique marketing signature. Trying to fit all of your information into a generic template, really doesn't cut it anymore. Potential guests are shopping around and the easier you make the decision, the easier it is for them to book with you. A custom designed site is made for you to achieve unique results and win the hearts of the unique guests that are a perfect fit with you. Designing a custom website through our process also lets us and our clients go on a journey together and pool our knowledge and resources.
- We go through a deep dive discovery process.
- We uncover and accentuate what is unique about their property.
- We establish a tone and communication style that we extend through the entire digital brand.
- We assist with great photography and video - the true heroes in the story telling.
- Express a clear story that people can connect with, immerse them in the experience.
- What are we showing? How are we showing it? What's the feeling? What's the tone?
It's a little bit like the restaurant formula. Why is it that some restaurants are just busy. It's everything. It's not just the food, it's not just the chef, it's not just the atmosphere, it's not just music, it's not just the lighting - it's when you put all of that together in a design that it works - the magic happens. That's what we do. We don't have any desire to churn out websites as templates, we're artists, we craft. We're all about putting energy and effort into each website. Yes it's a little bit more costly, but we've developed very efficient systems to develop websites that bring a far greater return for our clients that have got a lot more love in them that generate ongoing results for many years to come.
Our focus is on the whole and magical formula - that's really what we strive to do, by creating unique custom designed websites.
Design is in our blood and we research the latest design trends every week and even give out prizes internally for those who uncover the best new trends. We are constantly being inspired and seeing the amazing work that so many other web developers are doing out there, most often in other industries and in turn are deeply inspired and bring some of that super web coolness to the hotel world. We love to travel ourselves and cringe at the sites out there for most hotels when booking our own holidays.
When your customers jump on your hotel website, we want them to start their holiday right there and then. It should be fun and enjoyable right from the beginning. It shouldn't be hard work trying to make a booking. It's frustrating when you can't find the facilities they've got and have no idea what the room really looks like. Our mission is to change the hotel industry one hotel website at a time...
The psychology behind a great user experience
Through many years of experience in seeing how people interact with hotel sites and tracking stats closely, we notice some interesting trends. Yes people want the facts and figures (is the price right or value for money), but what is it that motivates someone to make the booking?
Our most successful websites are ones that have a high emotional engagement quality. I know which ones those are and it's incredible to see how many thousands of people love those websites.
It's more of a subconscious thing when people are on a website they are liking and enjoying. If there are elements that don't work on the particular device they use, the site is slow, the images are fuzzy, the information is hard to work out etc. all lead to a feeling of distrust. When attention to the detail has been taken care of, the feeling people get is different, they are starting to imagine themselves already on holiday and life is happening for them. It's all the attention to detail and energy in the design that creates a positive experience. There is a subconscious quality that people identify with and find themselves saying (that little voice in our head) 'I like it, let's book it!'