Project story

Virgin Holidays

Virgin Holidays logo

Working through Clearleft digital agency, we:

  • Led a three-week content-led design sprint
  • Shaped the company’s content strategy
  • Created tone of voice guidelines and delivered training to content managers
  • Spearheaded more content-centric ways of working

Heather has the enviable ability to remain unflustered at all times, and the attention to detail necessary to plan and execute the appropriate activities, in the right way, at the right time. She not only has a high-level mastery of content strategy and processes, but also the people skills and acumen to make it happen.

Tom Prior
UX designer

The challenge

As part of the much-loved Virgin brand family, Virgin Holidays had loyal customers and a firm footing in the industry. But they knew their digital experience needed to be much better. Their work with Clearleft on a digital transformation programme very quickly led everyone to the realisation that content needed to be at the heart of this.
They asked for our help in redesigning the web pages for two of their most popular Caribbean destinations, Barbados and Antigua, as a pilot project. This helped to develop a content-led approach that would be become the new way of working at Virgin Holidays.

The work

We began by running a three-week content-led design sprint alongside UX designer Tom Prior. Working with a cross-functional team of roughly ten people, we moved through a fast-paced design thinking process to reinvent the holiday destination page experience.

This started with stakeholder and user research to understand content needs and put this at the heart of our thinking and design. We moved the team through structured workshops, research, content creation, testing and refining high fidelity prototypes. And, finally, we played back our learnings to the wider business, including senior stakeholders, to build a business case for investing in content-driven design.

At the end of it, we had new Barbados and Antigua pages, a 22% boost in traffic to these destinations from search results, and a proven design approach for other Virgin Holidays destinations.

The outcome

Our work moved the organisation from having an intranet structured along lines of the business hierarchy to one based on the actual needs of employees.

The push towards keeping things lean, clear and useful has paid off. Around 90% of employees now use the intranet, now called the Hub, every month – an enormous jump from the previous platform. People have easily been able to figure out how things work. And the technical manager has seen a noticeable drop in people struggling to find information – 99% of people are finding what they’re looking for and enjoying using the platform. There’s a lot more engagement, too, with lots of likes and comments on blogs and articles.

In the words of one intranet user: “The Hub is a huge improvement on the old intranet. It is up to date and I love reading the blogs. Information is easy to find and apps are easily accessible.”