I just returned from a week in Boracay (Philippines) which I booked entirely online.
And the entire experience was superb – a perfect example of simple but effective web design, and flawlessly executed delivery.
If you ever feel the need to visit Boracay (and I do recommend it) then you should take a look at the My Boracay Guide site to make your bookings. (That’s not an affiliate link, by the way).
The site is nicely designed but, most importantly, it’s simple and clear.
No flash, no movies, well spaced out content (making it easy to read), and clear navigation.
The result is a fast loading, easily understandable website.
For me, this minimised worries about my credit card transaction getting hung and not knowing whether I’d be charged twice – the usual worries people have when transacting online.
If it’s your first time to visit Boracay there’s enough information (without overloading you) to enable you to get oriented and choose a hotel that locates you close to your interests (beaching, night-life, water-sports or whatever).
When I actually processed my booking the experience was equally smooth.
Importantly, when I got to the end of a screen the site told me what would happen next – whether I needed to wait for a process to complete, what I’d need to do on the following screen and so on.
Sounds simple, but it creates confidence in your visitors and greatly improves their experience – which leads to positive write-ups (like this one) and return visits.
And the execution was superb as well.
Boracay is a small island without an airport so you have to fly to one of two airports on a neighbouring island.
As a result, the transfer to your hotel involves getting from the airport to a ferry terminal, and then from the ferry terminal on Boracay itself to your hotel.
So they offer an exclusive transfer service, only available to people who book through the site, that takes care of everything.
We were met at the airport, our cases were magically extracted from the baggage claim area and, before we knew it, we were in a van going to the ferry. Ferry tickets were produced and we were on our way.
At the Boracay ferry terminal the process was the same – we were in another van and on our way almost before we knew it.
And same story again with the check-in process at our hotel – no fuss, no waiting, just smooth and efficient.
So for me, the entire experience was excellent – a perfect example of building a business around a simple, but effective website and flawlessly executed delivery.
Flash and exquisite designs are nice and don’t detract (well, Flash might because the search engines can’t read it), but simplicity and clarity sells.
And now it’s back to work again 🙂