Web development tactics to future-proof your airline website

September 24, 2019

Everyone wants life to be simple and easy: at work, at home and in their leisure time. So alongside passengers wanting an easy way to book their getaway, surely there’s an easier way for airlines to approach their websites, too?

Luckily, if an airline has a robust design and web development process, it makes things easier for people on all sides. Think more scalable sites, more future-proof content – more happy customers.

At Proctors, we have 15 years of experience working with clients in the aviation industry, producing stellar websites that generate increased loyalty, repeat purchases and higher engagement, including;

  • 47% increase in year-on-year sales
  • 11.5% increase in passenger spend per head
  • An increase from a 3-star to 4-star Skytrax rating

Are you missing opportunities to do the same?

Having a headless website means not losing yours

Earlier this year, Proctors launched Panasonic’s first headless Drupal 8 website on an enterprise scale

But, what’s a headless website? And what are the benefits for an airline?

Currently, default Drupal installations come with a pre-made theme, meaning the front-end, services and back-end are all tightly bound together, and controlled by the CMS. Going ‘headless’ separates the site’s front-end from its CMS, so you can take full control of the design – and therefore the look and feel of your site. Even better, it can make the site faster too.

And there’s an additional plus side, in the form of saving time. By taking advantage of modern Javascript frameworks such as Angular, each amend can be isolated; independent from the others. So, for an airline, where flights, offers, prices and content are ever-changing, your website can be updated quickly – without having to adjust the backend or services aswell.

And using this decoupled approach also means there’s just one point for data-entry. So even if you’re looking to push out content across a desktop site, app and a portal, it can be done seamlessly. It’s a more stable and scalable form of digital architecture that’s futureproof too.

 

Accessible for everyone

Making your website completely user-friendly means making it accessible to everyone – regardless of ability or potential impairment. There are standards which must be met for people of any cognitive, neurological, physical, auditory and visual capacity, and they’re outlined as part of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Some of these accessibility criteria will apply to your web design team – using a high contrast ratio where there’s type on images, or using a larger font size, for example. Others come down to how the site is built and operates, so your developer teams will need to adhere to regulations.

The arrival of the US DOT Mandate has brought with it a host of regulations, including that providers selling flights flying into the US be WCAG 2.0 AA compliant.

And if your website isn’t accessible? Well, Scandinavian Airline System (SAS) found out the hard way, and was fined $200,000 for the lesson.

For accessibility reasons alone, you should choose a company that is experienced, up-to-date and well-versed in best practice. Proctors is seasoned in accessibility. For example, we worked closely with SAUDIA and a team of native impaired web accessibility experts to subject our work to extensive testing and evaluation, ensuring we designed and developed a site that is fully compliant to WCAG 2.0 AA standards.

Futureproofed data

Many companies have data floating around all over the place. It’s often in different systems too - some of them very old, others custom-built. Often this data needs to be used in new systems, but it can prove difficult – not to mention labour-intensive – to locate, collate and reorganise.

Data liberation is one of our many digital expertise. We can work with big data sets – no matter how disparate, how they’re set up and stored … or how old. We create the glue to pull it all together, safely and seamlessly. Not only that, we can make use of the data in new and amazing ways, ensuring it’s not only fit for the web now, but for the future too.

Familiar but fresh

At Proctors, we’re familiar with – and have even been partners to – some of the best and brightest in the aviation web development sector. But, as an independent agency, we’ve also adopted our own methods of designing, developing and delivering web projects for our clients.

Why? So our clients have more control, more freedom with their development process, and more confidence in the end-to-end management too.

So, while we have a deep knowledge and relationship with Amadeus, for example, we’re not afraid to try something new either.

In 2016 we began a project to make SAUDIA’s first responsive booking engine. It required extensive design and accessibility-thinking to adapt a very information-dense interface into something appropriate for a wide array of devices. Our previous hard-earned accessibility experience proved invaluable here, allowing us to assess and prepare for potential impacts early on in the design process.

Your website, our development. One perfect partnership.

 

Every global-spanning brand needs to keep its digital presence updated. But when you have a multinational business to run, it’s easier said than done.

 

At Proctors, we work collaboratively with our aviation clients. That doesn’t mean we take up lots of your time, but it does mean we check in with you at every step of the journey – from research and design, to development and testing. We ensure you’re happy, informed and involved, to deliver full digital projects that return the results you need. Find out more here

You have a vision. We have the tools to make it real. Get in touch today at airlines@proctors.co.uk