The Welsh tourism industry contributes around £6.3 billion a year to the Welsh economy, key to maintaining and growing this is the provision of an exceptional digital experience for visitors and increased visibility of available destination activities, food and drink and accommodation throughout the country.
In seeking to positively impact a robust series of metrics that demonstrate engagement with their partners services and that latterly evidence acquisition and revenue growth, the content and digital team in the Welsh Government turned to Box UK for support to provide improvements across their two primary tourism sites visitwales.com and wales.com.
Box UK deployed a dedicated multidisciplinary team, that included Developers, QA Engineers and a Project Manager to work as an extension of the brand, digital and content teams at the Welsh Government, providing support, maintenance, and continued development across the two tourism sites.
With both sites built using Drupal CMS we provided expertise to include new feature development (eg. Parallax Animations*), the addition of new components (eg. Survey Popups) and further additional functionality all aimed at driving increases across the Welsh Governments defined metrics and providing an overall better customer experience.
As multiple stakeholders contribute to, and manage both sites, our development ensured that individual users had the flexibility needed to make their updates and amends to the sites whilst controls were applied to ensure the Cymru Wales brand integrity is maintained, this was a key requirement set out by the Welsh Government. Following a defined approach based on sprint planning using Agile methodology, we were able to provide the team in the Welsh Government with clearly defined outcomes at regular points throughout the programme to impact their goals and metrics.
To meet strict government guidelines it was essential that the design and development incorporated WCAG 2.0 AA criteria to ensure accessibility and inclusion and that the design and functionality of both sites catered for multi-languages.
To deliver continual improvements across all key metrics, we introduced a programme of Hypothesis Driven Development (HDD), an approach that iterates a series of experiments to disprove a hypothesis. Each hypothesis is formulated as a result of observations on the performance of, or interactions with the site in question. Together with the content and digital team at the Welsh Government, we agree on those hypothesise relevant for testing based on a perception of its likeliness to succeed in delivering the desired outcome.
The programme has shown a measurable impact on engagement and acquisition evidenced from tests such as adjustments to the positioning of content items on pages, the addition of a new ‘search block’ shown to increase search volume by 2.5%, and the addition of a ‘survey pop up’ which has increased the sign up to an established newsletter by 285%**. Additionally, through the programme, we have been able to fine tune the user experience, increasing the findability of relevant content and driving increased value through the sites (evidenced from the total number of product views decreasing whilst conversions*** have increased by 119%).
* Parallax Animations helps to emphasise elements of an article, and reduces reliance and cost of a publishing licence)
** Statistics quotes compare Q4 2021 vs Q4 2022 ***Conversion statistics quoted over the same period comparing Q4 2021 vs Q4 2022