How to design & build an award-winning website like Discoverireland.ie
Spider Award on a shelf with design books in the background
John Mitchell

John MitchellCEO

12.07.20226 mins read

All human is very proud that Fáilte Ireland took home the award for Best Website at the recent 25th annual Spider Awards for Discoverireland.ie, a remarkable achievement, especially since there were 45 shortlisted sites. It's fantastic to see Ireland's national tourism agency getting the recognition and attention for all the work they are putting into its digital platform. All human partnered with Fáilte Ireland to design, develop and build Discoverireland, so we are both excited and proud about the win and happy for our client.

Man browsing the Discover Ireland website on laptop and mobile phone.

All human partnered with Fáilte Ireland to design, develop and build Discover Ireland.ie

  • Best website category

    This is the equivalent of the Best Movie category in the Oscars in the digital design world. The judges look for websites that deliver results through creative design and seamless user experience when they evaluate all 45 entrants. They also consider whether the website has succeeded in the overall business objective, namely revenue generation and customer engagement. Finally, all websites submitted are evaluated on design, user interface, interaction, usability, layout, functionality, and intuitiveness.

  • Why did DiscoverIreland win?

    Before going into the reasons for the win, here’s some background to the overall objective set by Fáilte Ireland. Their digital transformation roadmap includes launching a new website, one that will be recognised as the trusted, ‘go-to’ source of high-quality information about holidaying in Ireland. The immediate aim of the site is to provide visitors with all the necessary details - from accommodation to activities and directions, for planning and having a brilliant and memorable time in Ireland. A longer-term goal is to help visitors tap into more of what Ireland offers, uncovering hidden local gems and off-the-beaten-track experiences and learning about the better-known attractions.

“Fáilte Ireland is delighted to have All human as partners on the transformation of discoverireland.ie, a ‘go to’ site for the domestic holidaymaker. All human’s people, processes, quality of digital output, as well as their collaboration is highly commendable.” Claire Cadogan, Head Of Digital Marketing, Fáilte Ireland
  • All human Design Process

    Meeting end user requirements

    We all know how challenging it can be to plan a holiday. Will there be plenty of activities or places to visit? And if you have children, pets, or special requirements, for example, mobility issues, will these be accommodated? What sources or reviews are trustworthy? Covid travel restrictions resulted in many people who live in Ireland considering Ireland as a holiday and short break destination for the first time. However, where to go and what to do were just some of the questions people had. Fáilte Ireland wanted to answer these questions by providing customers with a rich search process that was easy and informative and allowed people to move quickly between booking portals. Fáilte Ireland already had several existing sites - Visit Dublin, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. Part of the All human design strategy was to wrap our arms around these and incorporate them into one site that then seamlessly offered a choice of options.

A close up of a woman using her mobile phone to browse Discover Ireland’s website

Fáilte Ireland has several existing sites - Visit Dublin, Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

  • Finding the perfect holiday destination

    One of the best ways to ensure that the place you book for your holiday is the right fit is to access reliable and trusted information about the location. It also helps if the language used to describe the area is inviting and arouses excitement and curiosity. With this in mind, and working with Fáilte Ireland, an energetic voice with enthusiasm and authority was selected as the tone for Discover Ireland. The site offers content in various formats to showcase Ireland’s environs, counties, towns, tourism attractions, and special interest areas such as coastal escapes, outdoor experiences, and city breaks. Visitors to the site now have access to over 160 articles, 372 destinations, and 20 collection and interest pages to help them make an informed decision.

A woman using her mobile phone to read an article on “The best short walks and hikes in Ireland”

Fáilte Ireland’s site offers visitors access to over 160 articles

  • Immersive experiences

    Ireland offers some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. To convey the beauty and lure of these destinations, Fáilte Ireland and All human spent a lot of time selecting the perfect imagery for the site. The goal is to make the customer feel the spray of the ocean, marvel at the mysteriously beautiful Newgrange passage tomb, and get people excited about discovering all that Ireland has to offer.

Loop Head Cliff on a sunny day with the sea behind.

Loop Head Cliff Walk is just one of the incredible loop walks in Clare.

  • Making Discovering Ireland available to everyone

    We also want to ensure that everyone can experience all that Ireland offers, so part of our design strategy included adhering to the standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to develop international standards for making web content more accessible. DiscoverIreland.ie meets WCAG 2.1 AA standards. We also wanted to make sure that people could have an optimum experience on mobile devices as the default. Within four months of being released, Discover Ireland had received global recognition for successfully achieving this goal by obtaining a Google Mobile Excellence Awwward

  • Digital performance

    All human is obsessed with data. After all, a digital experience is only as good as how people engage with it. Part of our design strategy focused on measuring behaviours, the KPIs such as clicks, use of filters, use of search functions, interactions with maps, and scroll rate.  The site provides a complete data collection and tracking implementation that records traffic and segments and breaks down visitors based on various characteristics like location, device, and source of acquisition, using Google Analytics.  We also facilitate the analysis of user behaviour by tracking most interactions with the site elements and major conversion points, such as creating referrals. Other behaviours monitored include:

    • Clicks
    • Filters
    • Search functions
    • Interactions with maps
    • Scroll rate

    We added Google Tag Manager to gather several custom dimensions that provide Fáilte Ireland with more in-depth information about each page, based on parameters they set which generate additional analysis and insights about the site.

  • The outcomes & metrics

    At the time of the award submission, with the new site, Fáilte Ireland enjoyed a:

    • 10% increase in the number of returning users
    • 84% increase in the number of industry referrals
    • 34% increase in session duration in a short space of time
    • 7% increase in the number of pages per visit
    • Visitors spend, on average, twice as long on articles than elsewhere, and 73% of users scroll down to at least 75% of the page, suggesting that content is extremely engaging.

    All human are privileged to continue to work with Fáilte Ireland to optimise, enhance and evolve DiscoverIreland.ie. Naturally, it is great to receive such an endorsement from the industry and our peers. It is even better to see people continue to explore Ireland and enjoy a positive and engaging experience as they plan their next holiday.

The Fáilte Ireland and All human team in a group photograph celebrating their win

Fáilte Ireland and All human celebrate their win

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