The Challenge

Dutch Barge Cruises is thé middleman for booking a boat and bike tour in Europe. Their old site however, didn't feature any way to search by date or location. This meant users had to go through endless lists of dates to find what they needed. The challenge was to create a user interface that would allow for easy searching and a quick way to inquire for availability.

The approach

We started out thinking from the customers perspective. How does one search for a holiday, and what are the most important criteria to search by, and sort on? From that perspective we redesigned the search features and came up with the ‘tour calendar’. The quickest and easiest way to see when a tour departs given the criteria.

Recognisable design

Part of the challenge in redesigning a website, is keeping the website recognisable, with a familiar feel for returning visitors.

Keeping the background image and primary colours was vital to achieve this goal. After that, we added spacing, removed the clutter, and make it instantly clear where vital information and pages can be found.

Rethinking the database

We worked hard with the client to comprehend the complexity of the data on the website, and restructured it to make it plain and simple for the visitors to understand.

Instead of thinking from the data towards the customer, we thought from the customers perspective to the data, and reshaped that where needed. What does the customer need? Was the key question in organising data and providing search options.

A homepage that converts

Dbc Shot Uitleg

Easy booking on any device

It’s a known fact that more than 50% of general webtraffic is on a mobile device. Therefore we needed to make the booking process just as easy on a phone as on a desktop. 

Using a modal overlay with a responsive datepicker, buttons for inputting numbers, and inline validation, we managed to keep the frustration out of filling forms on a mobile device.


Choosing the right CMS

Easy to use

Managing your website should be easy, painless, and risk free. No chances of messing anything up!

DBC is a data-driven website. The pages are generated from content entered in the database. There are ‘tours’ and ‘ships’ which can be related to each other. We needed something that allows us to easily enter all the data, keep everything organized and easily backed up too. Craft met all the requirements, with multiple languages out of the box.

Powerful as balls

Craft is the most flexible and powerful CMS straight out of the box. No need for plugin’s or modification.

The unique ‘live preview’ option shows edits straight away, making it easy to see what you’re doing. The backend is also completely responsive, making quick edits on the fly a breeze. Next to that, determining relations between the ships and their tours couldn't be easier.

"Voor Dutch Barge Cruises zochten we een oplossing waarbij een complexe data base structuur kon resulteren in een gebruiksvriendelijke website en waarbij het content management systeem zo gebouwd was dat hiervoor hoegenaamd geen IT achtergrond vereist was. Door het analytische vermogen van Niels en zijn vermogen zich te verplaatsen in de eindgebruiker hebben we een top resultaat gekregen."

- Jaap Dercksen

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