Zambezi's team have been organising trips across Africa since 1995. As independent experts with local roots, they're perfectly placed to help create custom safaris for their clients. For this project, we redesigned their website focusing on the customisation of trips and improvements to the user journey sitewide.
Our UX review quickly identified that the website messaging did not convey that the trips were completely customisable. With Zambezi’s target audience (upmarket professionals) we needed to rework the digital identity to better convey luxury and premium service, as well to keep pace with their competitors.
We carried out persona analysis which resulted in the project being targeted at two types of user; ‘Returning to Africa’ and ‘First Safari’. Using these defined personas, we developed two distinct user journeys for the site which would enable each group to easily locate the most relevant information for them.
To create the trip builder we first determined two user journeys – ‘First Safari and ‘Returning to Africa’. We then created a customisable pathway for each to enable users to find the best safari for their needs, interests and experience levels.
Each had different options based on data of the characteristics of the persona, and the aim was to create a personal booking touch and better convey that the whole trip can be custom planned. Having this bespoke element also helped the site to feel high-end, and matched with the luxury feel of the designs.
The trip builder also helped to qualify leads and remove the time-wasting enquiries by introducing important pieces of information early on. e.g. safari costs.
On mobile, there’s a balance to be struck between user experience and site speed, as sometimes large media files can cause issues for search rankings. We had to think carefully about which elements to include, which to simplify and which to remove at the various screen sizes to ensure that a high level of performance was still being achieved no matter what device was being used.
With a large number of trip options, there was a lot of content and information to get across to the user, so a clean and clear layout for mobile was essential in order to convey the key pieces in the most effective way possible.
We worked with the Zambezi team to update the digital identity to better suit the online target audience. This included creating a wordmark version of the logo to suit screens and to save space in the navigation section as well as colour palette review and typographic choices.
The homepage hero section targeted two types of user that we defined early on in the project, the ‘First Safari’ and the ‘Returning to Africa’ users. This prevented more seasoned travellers having their time wasted with basic information, but also allowed those new to safaris to be presented with that information early on in their journey to ensure they understood the demands of the trip they were looking into.
Another of the key challenges of the project was to take a large amount of information and break it up into bitesize pieces for users to easily read and engage with. The old website had links to information on other sites which we wanted to avoid, so we decided to have clear sections for each of the variants – for example location, safari type, country and sample trips. That way, we could provide internal links for further information without taking the user away from the site and losing the authority of the information.
The designs also displayed a much improved visual hierarchy, and gave the client far more flexibility with template structures. This is important because it’s then easy to add in new sections if business strategy changes, and means that the won’t be frustration going forward with what the site can’t do.
Our SEO team saw an opportunity to develop content around a wide variety of topics, including pieces such as Your First Safari and The Best Time of Year to Visit Eastern Africa. These pieces would have a high level of authority and therefore rank well for search containing these terms, which should then bring new visitors to the Zambezi Safaris website.
To best showcase these new pieces, we designed visual content hubs with the goal of getting users to bookmark pages and come back to the site in the future if they needed further information. This is an effective way of giving users the information and resources they need, whilst at the same time providing brand awareness for Zambezi Safaris and hopefully securing future bookings.
We add new projects to our portfolio as we finish them, so check back regularly to see what we’ve been working on.