AGENCY: Catalyst,  2019

ROLE: UX, UI Design

Project Overview

Tourism New Zealand is responsible for promoting New Zealand to international and domestic travellers by marketing New Zealand and providing platforms, services and support to businesses and organisations that support New Zealand’s tourism industry. We worked with their team to design and deliver the final step in a programme of work to rebuild the legacy, monolithic newzealand.com platform into a set of independent, modern components that could provide the basis for future endeavors. This initiative is the Tourism Business Database – a central repository for tour operators and business connected to New Zealand’s tourism industry to manage their products and deals.

A new web-based, flexible, Drupal CMS to support the needed customisations

Generic, reusable single sign-on and API gateway components were split off into platform services so that they could be shared across other web-based systems. They needed a platform that would be flexible, affordable and customisable, so it was built using Drupal 8 because of the options it offered to support that. The web-based database allows tourism operators to manage information about their business and services such as accommodation, activities, tours, or travel planning in multiple languages.

A user-focussed modern UI guided the operators to easily accomplish tasks

The Tourism Business Database also provides Tourism New Zealand with an extensive range of tools for managing operators, ensuring content is of a consistent quality. The modern web interface makes it easy for them to view current deals, add new ones, and easily push them through to appear on the newzealand.com website. We tested the new designs with tour operators from around the country and used an iterative process to implement their feedback and then test again.

An easy, efficient workflow makes all the difference

On a technical note, content added can be accessed by public-facing applications, including newzealand.com, via Kong’s robust API framework.

The Tourism Business Database also provides Tourism New Zealand with an extensive range of tools for managing operators, ensuring content is of a consistent quality. Tourism New Zealand administrators use an admin portal built using Drupal’s workflow management tools to align with Tourism New Zealand’s internal processes. Here Tourism New Zealand administrators can see a list of content submitted by businesses that’s awaiting their approval, which enables an easy efficient workflow for them.

We used a co-design process to work closely with the Tourism BAs

The Tourism BA’s took the lead on the intial set of lo fi wireframes for us to share learnings, iterate and design from. This process kept everyone in sync.

User friendly, modern CMS

Moving the tool to Drupal allowed for a much greater degree of flexibility for the Operators which made content much easier to manage.

Streamlined interfaces

We streamlined the IA based on feedback from the tour operators which enabled us to prioritise tasks, and remove the items that weren’t being used for a more focussed structure.

More content features, especially for imagery and video

Their previous tool was quite antiquated, so realising what the new system could offer them was quite exciting. Imagery and video are key for tourists when choosing which tour option to purchase.

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