Southwold design agency Spring has launched a new website and campaign for Visit Suffolk offering tourists an interactive guide to the county
The new Visit Suffolk site uses a responsive theme and flat, bold graphics. An image-led homepage displays local weather forecasts, event listings and articles and can be filtered according to visitors’ interests. It also hosts live stream of social media posts that use the hashtag #ifoundsuffolk.
The best feature is an interactive map providing a look at the region’s highlights by area: it uses clear and colourful icons and is easy to navigate, allowing visitors to filter landmarks and attractions by category and create and save local itineraries. A ‘take me somewhere lovely button’ provides randomly generated suggestions for those looking for some inspiration.
The redesign forms part of a communications strategy to promote travel in the region – an accompanying campaign site and Facebook app offer direct access to the Google Maps feature, which includes added illustrations of deer, trees, boats and sea creatures around the Suffolk area – and Spring will also be releasing weekly themed content on the Visit Suffolk site and Facebook page (this week’s theme is wool towns).
Spring has been designing the project since September and will be working on the campaign throughout the year, says co-founder Erika Clegg.
“Our creative vision was to allow site visitors a real experience of discovery on a website and app that would allow them to wander, explore and uncover unexpected treasures. It was also important that the site projected a sense of being a consumer brand experience, rather than a standard tourism board offering,” she adds.
As the project is in its early stages, some areas of the map are sparsely populated and a paid-for listings package means there is a risk that larger businesses will be given more exposure than smaller, independent venues – local brewery Adnams, for example, features heavily. But both the new campaign and site offer an engaging alternative to traditional tourism sites, and seamlessly integrate editorial content with live updates, local events and social conversations, allowing viewers a look at what people are saying about the region as well as what there is to see and do.