We developed Luxury for Less as a product we felt consumers desired as the next evolution of the low cost travel search engine. Compared to other services, this wasn’t any kind of travel for as little money as possible, we created an inspiration engine for the low cost traveler that wants the best experience money can buy for their money. And with Travelex, we were able to include elements others couldn’t such as expected spending money and beneficial exchange rates into the booking experience.
Travelex asked us to compose a brief to meet the ‘driving new traffic to their domain’ requirement. After playing out several ideas with Travelex’s internal stakeholders we developed the reverse brief for Luxury for Less. The key for us was in developing something that benefited new and old customers enough that it would be a no brainer to visit the Travelex’s website in the process of booking a holiday. We believed we had the best chance of delivering this by delivering a free to use service that users benefited from their engage with.
The success of cheap flight and holiday search engines can’t be denied and it was this inspiration that lead us to the crux of the Luxury for Less idea. However there were two problems with these services we looked to solves with the help of Travelex. One, that everybody using these services was looking for a getaway that favoured reducing expense over all measures of luxury and comfort, and two, they didn’t allow for spending money and beneficial exchange rates when recommending locations. This was to be our USP.
We pitched the idea of a service that would allow people to discover luxury holiday destinations, within a desired budget that incorporated flights, lodgings, exchange rates and spending money. This was something we believed was unique as a product. We had a tight timeline on the project and whilst we could have made a fully integrated booking engine, the booking of flights and hotels was not part of Travelex’s business model, so wanted to create something that acted as an inspiration engine rather than a booking site. We knew we couldn’t compete with the likes of Skyscanner for booking, so we focused on developing them as partners and positioned Travelex’s bureau de change business alongside them.
Once the idea was signed off, we had eight weeks to design, develop and deliver the idea. I took the role of product designer and art director for the remained of the project and began by architecting, wireframing and prototyping the whole site and experience.
To create an index of luxury destinations we commissioned a series of surveys asking 2,000 people from across the world for their favourite luxury city and beach break destinations. This gave us a list of 101 destinations to which we added a further 19 curated locations for active lifestyle holidays. The ranking of these destinations for luxury would be determined by their popularity in the survey results.
One of the features I developed was aimed at going beyond popularity and looking at what really matters to certain people on a luxury holiday. I wanted to allow users to pick destinations based upon measures of luxury that matter the most to them, for example the cost of a mid-range bottle of wine, of the average temperature for the month of travel. For each destination we researched six data points, three generic measures of luxury we could apply to all destinations and three specific to the holiday type.
We combined this data, with the average spending data for each region compiled by Travelex and fulfilled the required flight and accommodation data by bringing Skyscanner on as a partner for the project.
The design came from an adaptation of a set of guidelines being developed to help transition Travelex into a more premium brand than they are currently perceived to be. This worked really well for the Luxury for Less art direction and allowed me to introduce lots of detailed touches combined with ample white space to give the feeling of luxury.