Designing a world class travel experience.

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KiwiRail is the state-owned enterprise that operates train services throughout New Zealand and ferry services between the North and the South Islands – Interislander and Rail  Services. They sought to increase their bookings, facilitate a better digital experience and in doing so to enhance the overall journey for all customers.

The solution for Great Journeys of New Zealand needed to work not only for international tourists – a key market for KiwiRail – but meet the year round needs of a diversity of New Zealanders who travel by rail and ferry around the country.

The new experience needed to meet current minimum requirements, but improve the usability of the current system and be expandable for future propositions and products. Critical factors in planning the project were to be in the market before the summer season booking window and to ensure a smooth switch to the new system so there would be no impact on bookings or revenue.

At its heart, the design challenge was in rethinking how people discover information across multiple products and move through levels of detail as they assess options, consider products, plan and book a trip. The delivery challenge was creating a seamless experience for two entirely separate and complex booking systems.

Working with KiwiRail, we set out to understand and rationalise the multiple products and services under a single platform framework. The approach was a Sprint-based design and development programme that enabled continual design and testing of prototypes of the site experience with users to determine requirements, design the solution and determine the future platform roadmap.

To date, page views and visit duration numbers have increased. What had been two separately maintained and functioning platforms were replaced with a modern content management system reducing internal overhead.