Surfs Inn is a boutique vacation rental property located in Ucluelet, BC.
The family owned and operated business is a collection of self-contained suites that offer everything a family, surf enthusiasts, or explorers would need.
The location is stunning, perched in the forest, yet close to the local amenities so that you can walk to local cafes and beaches.
Owner Nuala recently purchased Surfs Inn, and with it came a dated website on a platform that she did not want to continue using. Fast forward to our first meeting where Nuala and I got together to discuss the website design for Surfs Inn. We went over things like the location, the demographic of their customer base, the style of the suites, and the purpose of the website.
The property was undergoing major renovations to update the interiors and exteriors of the cottages and guesthouse, so the timing of a fresh website was perfect. Nuala wanted the website to act as a main source for bookings and eventually move away from Airbnb, which has become flooded with more fees for the guest.
Keeping in mind the guest experience and the future of the business, I began sourcing out styles that would fit with the businesses’ re-opening and future transition to book directly.
CUSTOM WEBSITE DESIGN, COLOUR & FONT SELECTION
The newly renovated style of the property played a role in the selection of imagery, colours, and fonts for this website design. The overall guest experience is enhanced when the website can clearly provide a feeling that the guest will get when they attend & experience the property.
I selected a cozy and inviting beach vibe that was representative of vintage beach, with a modern twist. The cooler and more typical baby blue beach feel was not an aesthetic that Surfs Inn represents. My answer to this was a concept that included the addition of warm elements like pale yellow and sandy beige to offset the cooler blue and gray.
The first thing I did was research competitors that my client sent me, as well as my own searches through Google and Airbnb. What I noticed was a common theme of aesthetic across the board, with no one leaning into a more approachable beach vibe.
Although my client’s initial thought was to keep the colour palette cooler with grey and white, I wanted their site to stand out and be recognizable as Surfs Inn.
I presented this modern beach concept to my client with wireframes created in Adobe XD with stock imagery. I gave two options for the home page design. After comparing the two, my client agreed that the more warm palette represented Surfs Inn better than what she had initially envisioned.
The next stage of my process is to build out the home page of the website so that my client can experience it with a live preview in Showit. This way they can see both the mobile and desktop versions of their site before I move into the remaining website pages.
One of the reasons I use the website hosting platform that I do is because it allows for the mobile version of the website to be fully customizable from the desktop design. This allows more freedom to layout a mobile version that is easy for users to navigate and is aesthetically pleasing. Most people will be looking at your website on their phones or a tablet, so it is a no-brainer.
Once the design was completed, I focused on searchability and functionality.
The best part about having a website as your landing page is the opportunity for searchability on Google. Using appropriate keywords I completed the search engine optimization (SEO) and tested the functionality of the website elements.
The final step was pointing the domain (surfsinn.ca) to the website so that it is secured and live to use! My client can now easily link a direct booking platform to all of her website buttons with minimal effort. My live website tutorial and guidebook have allowed her to easily update her website on her own.
Nuala Duggan, Owner Surfs Inn Vacation Rentals
“We recently hired Jess to create a website for us - it was an amazing experience all around! Jess is knowledgeable, efficient, and kind!
Jess takes the time to do her research on your brand, and produce a product that represents beautifully. Her designs are modern, and esthetically pleasing. She was always prepared for our meetings and produced deliverables on time.
Finally, Jess was very thoughtful and kind throughout the whole process! As a business owner with a full schedule, she was very accommodating!”