Jesse Mann
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Jesse Mann
The Luxury Collection Website

Consulting with Marriott to breathe new life into a luxury hotel brand.

The Luxury Collection, a division of Marriott, is comprised of world-renowned luxury hotels and resorts around the globe. Marriott partnered with Matte Projects to produce digital campaigns, consult on marketing strategy and redesign The Luxury Collection website. I joined the team as Lead UX & Visual Designer to focus on the website. I also worked on the development of a broader marketing strategy. I worked with a small team that included an account director and manager, a creative director and a market researcher. 

Lead UX Strategist & Designer 
UX • UI • Visual Design • Research • Information Architecture • UX Workshop • Exec Presentations • Customer Interviews • Stakeholer Interviews
Agency: Matte Projects

The Luxury Collection website was seeing a drop in engagement due to an inferior user experience, unfashionable brand and generic content. We were activated to gain a better understanding of the audience, their digital behavior and travel habits. 

The website was meant was to inspire luxury travel and improve brand sentiment. Matte was already working on social campaigns for multiple Marriott brands, so this would be an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to multiple marketing efforts.

Our initial meetings were about relationship building and alligning on business objectives. We had a kickoff workshop where we facilitated an open-ended discussion around SEO, bookings, user experience and marketing. In preperationl, we did a competitive analysis and came armed with lots of questions and thought starters.

Research Methods
We used qualitatitve and quanitative research methods to collect data to formulate insights that would drive insights, personas and customer journey mapping.

Methods: In-depth user interviews, internal customer data & analytics, market trends data, stakeholder discussion amd competitive analysis.

Discussion Guide: Some of the topics discussed with our interview subjects.

Insight #1: Women are driving travel more than ever.
Women comprised a significant portion of luxury travelers, and are making more travel decisions for their partners and families. Women comprise 54% of coveted affluent travelers (up from 42% in 2020). We conculded the brand was missing out on the potential of female customers by not offering content that matters to women and a user experience that addresses their motivations and concerns.

Insight #2: Visitors explore first and plan later.
We discovered travelers spend an average of 53 days visiting 28 different websites to plan their vacations.  It also mentions that 73% of first travel searches worldwide do not include a destination.  This suggests that travelers often start their vacation planning process with a general idea or desire for a vacation, but without a specific destination in mind. They then spend a significant amount of time researching and exploring various websites to find inspiration and information before making a decision on where to go. 

Insight #3: Culinary explorers spend more on luxury travel.
Culinary experiences are a core reason for luxury travel, with travelers interested in culinary exploration increasing by 40% in the past four years.  This insight suggests that the brand strategy should prioritize showcasing culinary moments across all properties and destinations, and offer content that combines culinary experiences with other activities. Data also showed culinary explorers had a slight preference for domestic travel which we folded into our content strategy.

Research Presentation Deck: Insight Slide

Process Artifacts
We alligned stakeholders around a collection of core insights that we brought to life with personas and user journeys.

Personas: Detailed personas helped bring to life data around the luxury travel audience.
We then created a detailed user flow that outlined the ten step planning flow users typically go through leading up to purchase. We zeroed in on the phases that were most important to the brand website we were tasked with designing.

Journey Mapping: A ten step plannning  flow that travelers used to plan their trips. We indentified two key phases: the “Spark and Inspire phase” and “Set Into Motion” phase that we’d target with the website redesign.

We helped Marriott design a more editorial look and feel to support the new content and brand strategy. We would leveration articles, destination guides and on-location photo and video shoots to bring the content strategy to life. Working with Marriott’s existing design ecoystem we made design recommendations that would breathe an editorial “magazine-like” feel into the site.  

Creative Direction & Design

Once our site map was complete we delivered pixel-perfect designs for all key site sections. Much of the content was pre-determined by Marriott based on our site map and content strategy so we skipped the wireframing stage.

Design system: Examples from the creation of The Luxury Collection design system elements.

Design system elements

Design system: Examples from the creation of The Luxury Collection design system elements.

Results & Highlights

We delivered a design and strategy that stabilized bookings, improved SEO, drove marketing and content strategy and still serves Marriott four years later today. 

©2024 Jesse Mann