Are you thinking about visiting Croatia or just want to find out some general information, but do not know where to start? Croatia.hr is Croatia's national tourism site where you can find out all that you need to know to start your journey. It has a big database of places throughout the country that you can visit alongside information about each one of them. It is a website where people get to know Croatia.
Drupal was chosen because it is:
- powerful and robust - the website receives large traffic
- best choice for large scale complex projects
- ideally suited in situations where requirements may evolve
- open source, thus cutting the licensing costs
- supported by a large community
- easy to integrate with external systems
- trusted and proven solution
The objective of the website was to create an easy way for users to find information they wanted about Croatia. Furthermore, the main feature of the website was to help travelers find places they would want to visit and things they would like to experience when visiting Croatia. Throughout the design process, our priority was to provide good device accessibility via responsive web design. One of main goals was to migrate the website from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.
The first step of designing the website was to create good quality content strategy, since this website is all about delivering information to end users. We used Drupal for its development with additional customization and we made sure that the information architecture was structured for the best user workflow. We needed to redesign and remake the architecture to better suit client needs. Our task was to provide efficient UX & prototyping, ensure innovative and modern component design, and provide good mobile accessibility.
In the first phase, we created a prototype of parts of the website, for a smoother user experience, since we used most of the existing design from the Drupal 7 site as per client’s request. In this phase, we made sure users could access a place to consume large amount of content in a smooth and user-friendly way, to see where they wanted to travel in Croatia and what information they want. During this process, we had regular meetings with the client to ensure that their vision of the website would be realized.
We were creating wireframes, section per section, since we made the website modular so the client can build the webpage as they structurally desire, that were afterwards approved by the client.
REFINING THE CONCEPT
After the prototyping process, we proceeded to refine the concept and design. The goal was to emphasize the brand identity of Croatia, while also polishing the user flow and solve other problems with the user experience.
Day to day communication with the client was essential for delivering the brand as it had been envisioned.
While developing, we dealt with several challenges, including exploring ways of migrating different kinds of content from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Performance of the website was essential since the number of visitors per day was in the range of 10 000 - 20 000. Since the architecture was remade with client wishes in mind, we had to implement a lot of custom logic. We needed to create an automatic daily import of accommodation units from CSV file which contained over 300,000 units. Solr database was used for better database search performance, since the number of items, queries and users is large.
We implemented three different kinds of Google Maps displays since we wanted to display large amount of different kind of data. Media module was used for image control, as well as Entity Browser for better back-office experience.
The website has support for 15 languages some of whome are non-latin, which we had to take great care of in the development phase since it impacts implementation approach. To make the page building modular, we made heavy use of Paragraphs and ECK entity types for page configurations. We also kept in mind SEO since this website is for travelers and people that want to find specific information about Croatia, for that we used metatags and custom build metatag logic as well as migration script to migrate all url aliases for all 15 languages from Drupal 7 (300,000 variations).
GOING LIVE: January 2018
After about 400 working days, the website went live. We believe we did a good job making a great government tourism website for all to enjoy. Connect with Croatia, visit www.croatia.hr