SOURCE: Carbone Smolan Agency

Carbone Smolan Agency

October 10, 2012 09:25 ET

Carbone Smolan Agency Designs Global Website for Luxury Hospitality Brand Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

New Website Extends the Mandarin Oriental Experience Across Platforms

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 10, 2012) -  Carbone Smolan Agency (CSA, http://www.carbonesmolan.com), a leading brand strategy and interactive design firm, designed a new website for luxury hospitality brand Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (http://www.mandarinoriental.com/). The website fulfills the expanding need for high-quality digital experiences in the hospitality space.

"Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group provides twenty-first century luxury with oriental charm. CSA took great care to preserve our brand pillars and bring those key qualities and aesthetics to our website," said Jill Kluge, Director of Brand Communications at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

"In designing the online identity of such an experiential brand, our guiding force was bringing what CSA calls a 'high-touch, high-tech' experience to the web," said Leslie Smolan, CSA's Co-founder and Director of Creative Strategy. "The same attention to detail and quality of service that you find during a stay at a Mandarin Oriental property needed to be equally prevalent in the online user experience."

According to Smolan, in order to meet this "high-touch, high-tech" objective, CSA worked with Mandarin Oriental to develop and design a website that stays true to the brand, delivers guest-centric usability and technology, and provides end-to-end travel planning tools, all in Mandarin Oriental's signature style.

CSA focused the design of the new website on featuring high-quality imagery from Mandarin Oriental's extensive photo library, a critical element that brings the physical experience of the hotels to the web. The entire website, from the photographically driven home page to the use of full-screen visuals on subsequent pages, is an impressive gallery of Mandarin Oriental's 27 operational locations around the world. The aesthetic is simple and stylish, and extends to all third-party applications incorporated into the site.

A limited number of page types and a universal navigation ensure an effortless user experience, a hallmark of any stay at a Mandarin Oriental hotel. Landing pages were designed to accommodate visual browsing, an e-commerce tool that organizes content through images. This allows guests to explore every available room, event space or restaurant in a side-by-side comparison of options. To simplify the reservation and exploration process, visitors can customize this information through simple sorting and filtering systems, and book their stays right from the landing pages.

In addition, CSA developed new, "brand-appropriate" features to help guests plan all details of their trip, such as an interactive map that gives users a context of a hotel's location in each city with key landmarks and streets around each property, an important reinforcement of Mandarin Oriental's prominent locations around the world.

"A lot of digital agencies approach interaction design from an engineering mindset rather than a design mindset, which means the functionality often takes precedence over the visual details," Smolan says. "At CSA, we believe that to create a distinctive and memorable impression, you need both flawless functionality and beautiful design to enhance the way the technology works."

About Carbone Smolan Agency
Carbone Smolan Agency offers a comprehensive set of strategic and creative services designed to build a singular brand voice across all media. Based in New York, the firm has built an international reputation creating outstanding programs for world-class clients, including Morgan Stanley, the W Hotel Group, Christie's, Musée de Louvre, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For more information, visit http://www.carbonesmolan.com.

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