Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Beautiful lonelyplanet.com

Recently I have really fallen in love with lonelyplanet.com. The site practically bathes in informative and engagine content and uses strong enticing imagery. Find your destination in a multiple of ways (top nav, map, search box), learn about the country and city, share your opinion with others and buy lonely planet books.

This site is pretty massive in terms of content and you can spend hours on it. It is a little bit like BBC.com, which is no great surprise considering BBC owns 75% of lonely planet. If you're a fan of travelling and fancy spending a few minutes getting a good dose of inspiration, then do give lonelyplanet.com a go. Some good lonelyplanet.com site features:

*emphasis on search. Sites know their users use them, yet few make the search box a fairly integral part of the site. lonelyplanet.com's destination search box even uses inline validation, great!

*quantity engages. On each destination page, lonelyplanet.com features quantity of restaurants, sights etc. If you've got information, and have categorised it, don't be afraid to display and promote it.

*cross-sell when relevant! Make it easy for site users to buy relevant products when accessing site content. Test the CTAs and placement to see what works best.

What I would wish for, is better integrated user generated content. Whilst lonelyplanet is beautiful and good to use, personally I would only use it for getting inspiration and information. I'm sure most would find tripadvisor.com the site of choice for UGC and reviews.

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