With eccentricity at its heart, the Oddfellows Chester website was considered by the judges to perfectly reflect the colourful and quirky nature of the business.
Driven by research, the website was designed to be image-led with a focus on the hotel's colourful branding and original interiors. The pages are also long, as is the current trend, but with a fixed header that is brought in when a user scrolls, which changes smoothly to black to ensure it is easily distinguishable from the content below.
Meanwhile, the standard content pages focus firmly on just the information that the user is looking for, with calls to action directly below the content to allow enquiries or bookings to be made quickly and easily. Rooms and offers landing pages are also laid out cleanly and allow users to see all that is on offer without needing to click into the details.
Usability has been considered throughout the user journey, be that on PC, tablet or mobile. A new menu is brought in along the end of a user's screen where a thumb can be used to comfortably move through items, while the Book Now and navigation buttons are highlighted in the site's signature colour. On a phone, users can phone the hotel with one click of a button that is always visible on screen.
All these initiatives have resulted in visitor figures increasing by 20% year-on-year, with almost 200,000 visitors to the Oddfellows Chester website in 2015. The hotel also increased online accommodation bookings by 22% over the calendar year.
The judges found the site interesting and different, with the personality and character of the business strongly represented in a site that provides a great customer experience but delivers business results too.