FCD Hotels

Front-end Developer
Project Manager
FCD Hotels
Blue House Design
Inn on the Lake
King Charles Hotel
FCD Hotels

FCD Hotels are a small independant hotel chain in Kent. They approached Blue House Design to help address their websites that were cripplingly slow.

I very much believe that starting again from scratch is a good strategy for redesigns. Even more so when a company has some sort of brand already established. Even if the quality or the execution is a little off, too big a change is too traumatic.

The previous website had a pretty clear direction. Serif typeface and large, impactful images. But what it lacked was some judgment. For example the some photographs were professional quality, others were not.

Something the previous website also failed at was things that looked interactive but were not. There were cards advertising other parts of the business, but there was either no link at all or a tiny single piece of text. To make the site easier to navigate I used large cards and images and wrapped the link around to make a large touch target.

I wrote a custom javascript booking form because it wasn't really a form. Instead the data gathered was happened to a URL as a parameter so that the actually booking system could pick them up with their API. Javascript was an enhanced solution as the book was link. Should JS fail the link would still get the user to the booking system. Ok there choices they entered would not work, but if they had no JS the booking system would not work anyway.

I also started to change our design process. Up until then the expectation was to create a single mockup of the home page and use this as a basis to "design" the website. But often ignored the complexities present on other pages, offloading the design work onto development.

Instead I created mockups for the main page types. I presented these to the client in a document to compare before and after to show design thinking. It's never just about doing the design work, but also communicating with people they understand to.