One of the reasons I got into publishing is because I love the creative process. The satisfaction I get from seeing a project from its initial idea to the finished product makes all the hard work worth it. Even better, publishing is a collaborative art — it takes the skills of many individuals working together as a team in order to succeed — and I truly enjoy being a part of a creative team of professionals working toward a single goal.
I recently had the opportunity to experience the best of this process with the creation and launch of the new TravelAge West website, TravelAgeWest.com. This massive redesign took the better part of a year to complete, from the initial discussions to the final launch. Literally dozens of people had some role in the creative process, each one bringing his or her A game.
The result is a website that we are truly proud of. Site highlights include vibrant images, bold colors, new travel agent tools, unique features and amazing original content adapted for the web. The site is based on the concept of responsive design, meaning that it will optimize to whatever device the user visits from — whether it’s a desktop computer, a mobile phone or anything in between. The site also has fun new features, such as an interactive Geo Quiz that keeps a running tally of your scores. Overall, we have stepped up the content on the site, with exciting stories, stunning photo tours, a clever blog and a lot more.
In all honesty, sometimes in a corporate environment, the powers at the top hand down a website and basically say, “Make this work.” In this case, we’re lucky to be able to have the kind of leadership that allowed us to build the website we want — instead of forcing us to use the website they had.
Visit TravelAgeWest.com and click around the site and, if you like something, share it with other travel agents. There are plenty of places where you can post comments on the site, or you can also email me directly at Letters@TravelAgeWest.com with suggestions, because as happy as we are with the site, there is always a Phase II to make improvements. That’s just part of the creative process.