Revamping the Guardian Holidays Website


The Guardian approached Lab to redesign their Guardian Holidays site, bringing it up to date with the Guardian Bookshop and Guardian home page, which Lab had previously designed.

They knew the project would have involved a great deal of technical work and design, so they required an agency with extensive technical knowledge of the Guardian brand.

The Guardian readers are quite experienced travelers, constantly looking for new experiences, new ideas – and the existing website didn’t have that rich feel to it. It simply wasn’t offering them that experience and it wasn’t meeting the Guardian’s expectations.

The Guardian, eager to improve their existing site, called upon Lab’s team of digital strategists and UX design specialists to help create an ecommerce site that was far more inspirational and provided a beautiful user experience that would ultimately lead to more users visiting the site and booking more holidays.


Meeting the Demands of the Guardian Consumers

The objectives were clear:

  • The site needed to be responsive and be in line with the parent Guardian brand.


  • The site’s look and feel needed increase engagement and drive conversion rate.


  • Most importantly, the new site needed to meet the demands of the well-travelled Guardian customer. This meant that the site would need a completely new and user-friendly aesthetic, improved content and imagery with a better focus on the user’s needs and wants throughout the customer journey.


Brilliant UX 


Lab’s creative team not only put their skills in UX to work, but employed Lab’s unique expertise in Neuromarketing to create a design that would appeal to the user’s emotional motivators as they move through the customer journey. Principles of Neuromarketing were used to help create an emotionally appealing colour palette, help dicate the way imagery would be displayed (size, colours and placement) and guide the way a user would navigate throughout the site – creating a frictionless journey that would ultimately lead to a remarkable user experience and more conversions.

Keeping in mind the increase of customers using mobile devices to explore and book holidays, it was essential that the new site was fully optimised for different devices without compromising the user experience. We wanted to ensure that when a user was navigating between the different sites and pieces of content that they were having the same consistent user experience.

Ultimately, the customer experience and journey had to match the expectations of Guardian consumer. With that in mind, one of the things the team at Lab did was ensure that there was engaging and inspiring imagery – which was put at the forefront of the project.


Inspired Results


After months of hard work and planning, Lab delivered a website that the internal teams at the Guardian were (finally) proud to promote across the Guardian network. The site saw unique visitor sessions up by 98% and people were spending longer on the new website – an outstanding 15% more time after the first several months of the site launch in November 2015.

The result both Lab and the Guardian are most proud of is the increase in conversion rates. Customers returning through organic search are now converting at a rate 5X that of the previous site, a truly remarkable 500% uptick in conversions.

Since the new site has launched the Guardian have seen some positive behaviour due to the site’s slick look and feel.


Holly Macartney, Head of Ecommerce, Guardian News & Media. "Because we had a new site we could be proud of, we were able to confidently promote it across the Guardian network - which has resulted in uniques up 98%. We are delighted to announce the launch of our beautiful new site. After months of planning and hard craft (read: blood, sweat and occasional tears) the site is now live. Delivered on time! "

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