How can inspiring design drive exceptional results?

The success of Small Luxury Hotels of the World depends on its hotelier members feeling inspired and proud to be part of the brand. This sense of satisfaction drives members to deliver excellent performance and make the most of the opportunities that the business offers. 


Fully engaged members are vital. But it was apparent that not every member shared this feeling. 

Clearly the company’s members-only website – – was struggling. Traffic was low and things had to change.

What do you do if your audience isn’t engaged, opportunities are being missed and a key online channel is being ignored?



We immediately identified what had to change. The members-only website,, felt like an overflowing inbox where any and every piece of content produced by the business was kept – unread, unfiled and uninspiring.

In addition, only a monthly PDF of performance data was driving traffic. The website just wasn’t working hard enough to engage with its audience.

The team at SLH instinctively understood the value of a design approach that was user-centric. We worked together to generate audience personas that would drive the content planning and design process. To reinforce this approach, we conducted ‘real world’ user testing on our proposed site architecture. This made sure the project team wasn’t caught up in its own bubble.

Interesting way to conduct a test. Very intuitive and simple. Keep me updated on the development of the new structure. I’m a bit of a NERD and love to know more about how the process works.

- Hotel Manager and user-testing participant

Everyone agreed that the key to increasing engagement was to create a website that felt like an everyday tool. Members needed to see immediately that it made their lives easier.

This pushed our thinking in the direction of applications – and a strong emphasis on user interface design. It also highlighted the fundamental importance of performance. After all, no one makes daily use of a service that makes you wait as it loads.

Before beginning the design process, we established assumptions about the bandwidth available to users in different global locations.

Then we set a ‘performance budget’, with initial load duration as a specific metric. This informed our infrastructure recommendations and identified specific challenges early, such as streaming video in China.


I’ve just presented the new MYSLH designs. We had about 12 Board members in the room – all SLH hoteliers from all over the world – and we received a round of applause at the end. They were very impressed with the look and feel, functionality and the performance dashboard. And they were amazed at the speed of progress.

- Project Lead / Small Luxury Hotels of the WorldTM

All of our performance targets were achieved, globally. Phase One of launched in May 2016. But development won’t stop there. Plans are already in place for a range of community features to help emphasise the ‘soft’ benefits of being an SLH member. And we’ll continue to optimise the site as analytics data becomes available.


Are you ready?

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