Cloud & DevOps
Adventure Time

Namu Travel

We helped Namu reimagine, redesign, optimize, and support its Costa Rican Vacations website to provide a seamless user experience.
Overview

Making Dream Vacations Come True

Namu Travel Group is a boutique vacation booking company that offers bespoke travel to Costa Rica and other countries in Central America. Namu partnered with MentorMate to revamp the speed and user experience of its Costa Rican Vacations website. 

Challenge

Namu Travel’s decade-old, WordPress-based website needed to be rebuilt from the ground up to improve UX and website speed for web and mobile. 

Insight

The Costa Rican Vacations website contains thousands of image files. The solution required a flexible, headless CMS with high-fidelity image optimization to run faster and more efficiently. Creating and customizing vacation packages must be convenient and straightforward. 

Solution

We helped Namu reimagine, redesign, optimize, and support its Costa Rican Vacations website using Strapi CMS running on AWS. 

SOLUTION

A Gateway to Adventure

The Costa Rican Vacations website helps travelers find vacation packages tailored to their needs. Since the original website was built as an online brochure and evolved over the years, the codebase was hard to maintain, and adding new functionality was tedious. MentorMate’s task was to rebuild the website and improve the UX (especially on mobile devices) while maintaining performance and providing a responsive web design solution. Additionally, we enabled users to create accounts and implement dynamic vacation packages from multiple elements such as location, lodging, and activities. This functionality helps Namu offer adjustable travel packages and allows users to personalize their dream vacation.

Services
Дизайн
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Web Development
Quality Assurance
Cloud Services
Systems Integration
STRATEGY

Welcoming New Adventure Seekers

Namu’s primary goal was to increase its conversion rate while providing a frictionless experience from the first click to the last magnificent Costa Rican sunset. Guided by the client’s clear product vision, MentorMate’s team recognized website speed as key to achieving the desired conversion rate. Another big part of the conversion improvement strategy was to instill a sense of trust in the potential customers interacting with the website. Therefore, each travel package introduced the local guides and their experience in particular regions or activities of interest. 

We received quotes from dozens of agencies and even began working with one before scuttling the job. We found the MentorMate team enjoyable to work with, organized, and extremely transparent on important things like billing. But most importantly, they delivered a final product that met our goals.

Casey Halloran

Co-Founder, Namu Travel Group

DESIGN PROCESS

Human-centered Functionality

We conducted thorough user research, stakeholder interviews, and multiple client workshops to capture the entire flow process of users searching for specific trips from the homepage or a landing page. This research uncovered pain points that enabled us to develop several different wireframe sets and style scapes. We presented a few approaches to visual design to Namu’s product owners.

 

Improving the user experience meant reimagining the search functionality, modernizing the UI, and allowing the creation of dynamic packages covering varied user criteria.

The new approach to searching and creating vacation packages allowed users to explore more and dive further into their dream vacation before inquiring about specific information and pricing.

 

The modernized design of the new website focused on a mobile-first experience, as 65% of all users interact with the website on a phone or tablet. Since speed and a consistent design identity were priorities, we created a custom iconography set and limited typography choices and font sizes to ensure the website ran as fast as possible. 

 

Figuring out the precise formatting of the extensive library of high-quality image assets was also crucial to improving the website’s performance. Our team collaborated closely with Namu’s photography director to ensure that the images loaded on the website were of the highest quality but not cumbersome to the system. 

ENGINEERING

Building a Faster and Smoother System

To ensure fast load speeds on all modern browsers, our cloud engineering team focused on four key concepts in driving the solution definition. Scalability – the architecture allows for a growing amount of data as system usage increases, Flexibility – new features can be added cost-effectively, Usability – serves as a daily tool for users, enabling (rather than hindering) their work, Reliability – allows users to rely on this system for the day-to-day execution of their work and should rightly expect the system to function when needed.

 

To facilitate flexible and customizable content management compatible with varied content types, we based the back-end on the headless CMS Strapi running on AWS. Not being a technology-focused organization, Namu needed its system to function flawlessly with minimal maintenance from its internal development teams. Rather than developing custom solutions that require technical expertise to maintain, we built Namu’s system using third-party solutions. We integrated Algolia and CloudFlare and removed legacy scripts. Those changes ensured website speeds that are not only unique to the travel industry but most other consumer-focused industries as well.

It's a rare case where system speed is considered a business goal. It was exciting to discover how fast we could go, and that excitement reflected the results. We scored 70% on Google’s website speed testing tool, and it is rare to see a website achieve more than 19% on mobile.

Gyuner Zeki

Enterprise Architect, MentorMate

IMPACT

Destination Success

The goal for this project was faster website speed on modern browsers with a focus on mobile, a seamless customer experience, and a 3% increase in conversion rate. Since the project’s completion, the new website’s conversion rate went up 5% above the old version, despite requiring a 2-step authentication form from the user to collect more preference information at the time of travel package inquiry. Implementing the 2-step authentication improved Namu’s ability to quote a higher percentage of inquiries immediately. Behind the scenes, Namu’s content team can now easily make changes and additions to the website in roughly half the time versus their old site. User experience has vastly improved for Namu’s users and staff, and the new website’s speed is one of the fastest in the industry. 

Our partnership with MentorMate has been a huge success, resulting in a 24% reduction in cost per quote. This has also impacted the volume of quotes sent to customers, which has, in turn, boosted sales.

Casey Halloran

Co-Founder, Namu Travel Group

SERIOUSLY CUSTOM SOFTWARE

Distinctly Designed. Brilliantly Built.

Everyone working on your project is fully invested in its success. We care just as much about how your software looks and performs as we do about the problem that it’s solving. We work, learn, and celebrate together, measuring success by the duration of our long-term partnerships.

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