A redesign to match big changes in this popular tourist attraction’s business
Pennine Boat Trips are a popular Yorkshire Dales tourist attraction offering cruises and boat hire on the Leeds Liverpool canal. In the last few months they have diversified by offering self-drive trips, as well as significantly expanding their private chartered trips. They needed to update the website to focus on these two new areas.
Initially we considered expanding their existing website (built by me back in 2006), but we quickly realised that the business had fundamentally changed since the previous site was built. We decided that now would be the perfect time to start afresh, creating a real home for Pennine Boat Trips which reflected their unique personality and which would serve as a platform to build on going into the future.
Copywriter Chris Kenworthy did a great job of encouraging the client to become laser-focussed, and we soon arrived at a new structure which could accommodate their broader offerings whilst allowing their three main customer types to quickly find what they’re after.
The old site had become stale with very infrequent updates. To avoid that the new site pulls content from Twitter and Facebook and features an easy to update blog, as well as a dynamic ‘trip board’ featuring the day’s weather, skippers and sailing times.
I also offered advice and coaching for social media, something Pennine Boat Trips were keen to make use of to increase engagement with customers. They’re a fun business with loads of history and personality so they had genuinely interesting content to share.
The site design draws heavily on Skipton’s history and ‘canalia’ - the distinctive arts and crafts associated with canals, including the beautiful lettering found on many boats. I commissioned an illustrator to create bespoke icons which add to the overall quirky, canalia theme.