By Gabby Manotoc

Featured Image from Deli Global Site

In mid-2014 a new travel site was launched to satisfy intense wanderlust. It caters to millennials and their love for interactive, aggregated and personalized content. DELI was created by 25-year-old founder of Perspektive Crossmedia, Anna Kolk. The creative agency specializes in hospitality and branding. It was only natural for them to redesign the travel planning experience to cater to a generation obsessed with Buzzfeed, Quizlet and other arguably conceited quizzes.

Compared to other trip planners, the website uses a personality algorithm the agency developed alongside the University of Amsterdam and University of Stockholm. “We focus on users instead of the other way around, we don’t tell people where to go/what to do based on our own preference… but let them take the test which will create a tailored experience with respect to their personality and lifestyle,” Kolk said in an article on PSFK.

The site asks the user six questions relating to gender, hobbies, preferred clothing and the like to generate one of 14 personality types. The results then list 15 suggested places for music, bars, culture, parks, shopping and food. The information is displayed as a one-page visual infographic. The general hierarchy of information is good, and the use of a muted, vintage color palette implies a nostalgic experience. Overall, the website is based on a very strong and effective concept.  However, there are definitely minute details that could be cleaned up in order to elevate the experience even more.

deli-home

Home page has only one link that moves the user forward. The other links either lead to the same home page or pages that aren’t ready yet. Because of this, users are left confused and disappointed.

On the home page, users are presented with two main boxes. On the left are different icons that represent different cities. The box on the right says “Blog,” but when clicked on leads back to the home page. It is a confusing option to have; because it serves no function at the moment, it would be worthwhile to just remove from the page. There are also many opportunities to capitalize on the screen space. Instead of having two closed off boxes, the icons could simply be organized to fill the whole screen.

An issue found across the whole site is the constant use of a very small type size. It’s difficult to read and easy to miss. This is especially obvious when there is low contrast between the background and the font color.

deli-icons

The icons don’t look customized at all. Some edges are close to the border, while others are far away. Some have more detail than others, and some have thicker strokes than the rest. This is a common theme that runs throughout the site.

The icons are also weak. It’s difficult to even tell which city the user will be clicking on. While the icons are amiable, there’s so much detail in some of them that when reduced, the relationship between positive and negative space breaks. Many of these icons do not work as a set because some have more details than others.

Furthermore, there’s no indication as to which cities are not yet available. It’s effective to have them visible as a teaser, but simply using color or copy would eliminate the frustration for users when they click on a city only to find that they’ve reached a dead end.

The two typefaces don't work well together, especially because of how different their heights are.

The two typefaces don’t work well together, especially because of how different their heights are.

The typography on the site could also be adjusted. Many of the justified paragraphs are riddled with rivers (in design, these are very large spaces in between whole words which break the visual structure). The serif typeface, Ashbury, also comes across as slightly dated partially due to the italicized letters, but mostly because it’s paired with a very modern sans serif typeface, Baron Neue. The typographic contrast here doesn’t blend well, and doesn’t speak to the brand voice of the product. The heights of letters are different and the widths of each letter are so similar, it’s easy to note how unsetting the pair is.

The borders around each icon are actually different buttons. However, there are no visual cues as to what it is and how it works.

The borders around each icon are actually different buttons. However, there are no visual cues as to what they are and how it works.

Finally, many of the buttons and interactions are not obvious. The user has to explore the site more to figure out that the borders of each icon are actually interactive. And even then, there’s no explanation as to how the graph actually reads. There are no axis points described and users don’t know what they’re looking at. In one way this is symbolic of discovery when traveling. Yet in a digital space, it becomes frustrating. The art direction of the images chosen for each place can also be improved.

As of the beginning of 2015, only Deli Amsterdam is available live on the site. Information and statistics are constantly being updated to provide an even better user experience. The concept is very unique and strong. There’s a lot of potential for interactivity and good graphic design. In this first release, there’s still a lot to be desired. However, it’s a strong start for the agency and it’s easy to imagine how this could set a new standard for travel planning. Guides for Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, London and Stockholm will be released throughout the year.