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The science is in looking at the web analytics, competitor analysis, onsite survey results and the brand collateral available, and producing an online experience second to none in our sector

couple of years. Working in conjunction with award-winning digital agency LBi on the project, the airline’s website has been completely redeveloped and redesigned with the airline questioning the accepted norm for airline websites and raising the bar. Taking inspiration from other award-winning sites in the retail, banking and travel sector, the new site communicates with customers in Virgin Atlantic’s typical tongue-in-cheek, stylish fashion yet provides a wealth of easy-to-fi nd information and enhanced functionality. Allison Wightman, head of e-business at Virgin


Atlantic, commented: “Visiting an airline website shouldn’t just be about booking a ticket, checking in online or picking a seat. It’s the start of a holiday and when you’re travelling with Virgin Atlantic, it’s as much about the journey as the holiday itself. “We wanted to tap into that mood and get

customers excited about their next trip. We think it’s time someone shook up the rule book for airline websites, and who better to do that than Virgin Atlantic.”

A new user-centric design, where the customer has been at the heart of the development process, sees a new page layout with the navigation at the top. Rather than a lengthy list of options, the whole site is now only a click away from any page.

he redesigned site is just part of Virgin Atlantic’s move to improve its digital capabilities as a key priority over the next

UNVEILS NEW WEBSITE Airline websites hit a new high recently as Virgin Atlantic unveiled the homepage of its new look website

The new landing pages, such as Travel Information,

draw on the kind of layout more commonly seen in the contents pages of magazines and Virgin Atlantic has brought back the classic Solari boards that used to dominate airports and train stations around the world as the inspiration for the design of Flight Status. As part of the redesign, Virgin Atlantic has moved

away from the traditional aviation functional approach to web design and introduced more visuals to create a stylish online environment that aims to increase customer engagement and visualise the Virgin Atlantic experience. Copy and text is still of paramount importance and the airline has established a content strategy ensuring that FAQs and contextual help are used to compliment page content not duplicate. The airline’s website has moved to a modern

service-orientated architecture and has migrated to a new content management system, Adobe CQ5. These improvements will make the site more responsive for both customers and content editors. A move towards service oriented architecture (SOA) will also mean that the same data can be shared and used with many different channels from the mobile site or Facebook fan page to the check in kiosks at the airport. The programme has used an Agile project methodology for the fi rst time, allowing activity to be prioritised in line with customer feedback. This enables the airline to deliver new functions when they are ready, giving customers the benefi ts of enhanced usability and a more engaging experience earlier. Wightman added: “We have tested the site

thoroughly yet we know the process hasn’t fi nished yet. We want to continuously improve and innovate to be responsive to evolving customer needs. We are using website analytics data on how visitors navigate the site as well as ‘rate the page’ feedback and an onsite survey with our partners eDigital, to ensure we continue to understand how our site is used and listen to the voice of our customers. “The science is in looking at the web analytics, competitor analysis, onsite survey results and the brand collateral available, and producing an online experience second to none in our sector. Our service has always been Upper Class and now our website will be.” The site redesign is just part of the airline’s digital

strategy, which also includes mobile and social media. Some 60% of the site is now live with the new design and the airline will continue to work on the remaining pages over the coming months.


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