Our work: National Trust Holiday Cottages

Boosting Holidays bookings with redesigned customer journeys

Campaign: Content and experience management | Experience: Design and prototyping

The Trust’s Holidays business generates a significant portion of their revenue. Manifesto worked closely with the internal team to redesign the website, improving customer journeys, making the site more discoverable and competitive in search results, and bringing it onto the same platform as the main National Trust website to make life easier for editors.

Improving the Holidays booking experience

The previous Holidays website wasn’t working hard enough for the National Trust. The technology was unreliable, leading to performance issues; the booking journey offered a poor user experience; the site was not mobile-friendly; and SEO was poor. As a result, conversion rates were low at 0.56%, well below the industry average of 1-4%, with many visits resulting in a call to the Trust’s contact centre.

Redesigning and rebuilding a user-centred website

The Holidays website redesign and rebuild project revolved around a lean UX process. Manifesto worked in close collaboration with the Trust’s internal team over three, two week-long UX sprints, quickly iterating over designs which were tested as HTML prototypes in face-to-face sessions with representative users. Particular attention was paid to the booking journeys on mobile, and the design of content revolved around the needs of users who want to quickly access information to help guide booking decisions.

Improved journeys boost bookings and revenue

The new Holidays site provides a booking journey which offers superlative ease-of-use. Users on any device now have the ability to quickly find available properties with characteristics which are important to them – from location to accessibility to dog-friendliness – and book without having to call the contact centre.


“The National Trust’s previous digital journey often left our audiences confused and frustrated. As a charity, we can’t sit back and neglect this vital part of the business. We have worked closely with Manifesto to rebuild our digital offering to future-proof its functionality and make it a positive experience for all users. The Holidays website is the final jewel in the crown. We have finally brought all our web property onto one responsive platform, which is allowing us to focus on innovating and growing the charity.

“The new website is clearly paying off, with bookings and revenue already up. Now that we have a more user-friendly experience, we can easily show our customers all the properties we have on offer and attract new visitors. All of this will help us on our mission to preserve, protect and share historic places and spaces – for ever, for everyone.” – Tom Barker, Head of Digital at National Trust


How this helps us on your project

We have lots of experience partnering with large organisations to help deliver ambitious new customer experiences. Our design philosophy puts value creation at the heart of everything we do, ensuring customer experiences which meet both the needs of users and strategic business goals.

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