IHG had a new ambition laid down by its CEO; to double company growth by the year 2020.
In order to meet this new ambition, a brand was created to fulfill the needs of the largest segment of guest, the everyday traveler. Out of the ether, avid was born.
I supported my Art Director Sanithna Phansavanh alongside copywriter Stephen Harper to flesh out designs, construct prototypes, and deliver a polished final product.
avid hotels was created to be the brand of the future.
In a world where the very real threat of AirBnB loomed, avid aimed to be everything the hotel industry was not; clean, uncompromising in regards to essentials, and, most importantly, affordable. Branded by british agency ForPeople, it became the job of the IHG Digital Studio to build this breath of fresh air quickly, affordably, and in line with all currently existing systems
Arguably the most challenging part of any UX project is the handoff from creative to development.
You know how it goes; you pass them a deck with a style guide covered in lines and arrows and padding and pray to god that the front end developers don't f*ck up your precious thought-baby, or if they do that there's enough time and/or money to go back and fix it. (There never is.)
With avid, we had neither the luxury of time or abundance of money to spare; starting on January 1st, 2018, the site needed to be live by May in order for customers to book the first hotel for it's opening in October. That means we had 120 days to design, build, test, QA, UAT, and launch a fully-fledged, properly branded website.
With a launch date fast approaching, I was brought in to assist in the design and development of the site by building a functional Webflow prototype, ensuring that the creative process could occur iteratively and without roadblocks. By building out this prototype in Webflow, we hoped to eliminate any guesswork on the part of our developer partners. All the code was to be there, and any hover state, interaction, or otherwise would be accounted for.
Working with our UEA partners, my Art Director and I rose to the challenge of translating an identity that was hot out of the oven into a high-converting reflecting avid brand values and strengths. Little nuances helped to bring the brand to life; small white rules beneath tabs, buttons changing to a slightly different hue on hover, and a pinch of the bright colors that, when combined, would become avid hotels.
Practicing Agile processes, we were designing, styling & supporting our developers simultaneously. Every element was poured over with purpose. All pixels of padding, line-heights, color variations, font sizes, image placements, and more were weighed against the opinion of our users. If you have time, take a moment to explore the prototype; it's filled with UX blood, sweat, and tears that went into its creation.
avid Hotels launched on May 3rd 2018.
One year later, avid signed their 100th hotel. This unprecedented growth is proof that this brand directly addresses the needs of a segment of guests who have been patiently waiting for the next advancement in hospitality.
Looking back now from the height of the COVID pandemic, it was prescient to launch a brand whose tenets revolve around cleanliness and safety while also being budget-conscious. Without knowing it, our work here would help people traveling find peace of mind in the hard times to come.