Skift Take

By highlighting all of the cultural programming at its properties and destinations above everything else with a mobile-first delivery, Standard Hotels is leveraging its strongest differentiator to drive audience engagement.

Standard Hotels launched a new version of its website last week with a mobile-first mission designed to convey the immersive experience at the hotels with equal energy on the digital platform.

Previously, Standard Hotels operated two websites dividing the hotel information content and lifestyle-oriented Standard Culture content. The new portal combines them with the goal of creating a more seamless user experience without burying the lifestyle content below the hotel and restaurant descriptions.

To accomplish that, the homepage leads wholly with lifestyle content about music, food, arts and other cultural programming, both on-property and offsite.

The hotel information is positioned in the top right dropdown menu, and it’s again duplicated in the main navigation dropdown sandwiched between the Culture, Food & Drink, Happenings and Shop categories.

From the perspective of the homepage, that effectively makes the new Standard Hotels website an online travel magazine, with the hotel info and booking engine assuming almost a secondary role, yet readily available when a reader is sold on the destination.

Site-wide, there’s a floating red dot in the bottom right corner of the screen labeled: “Book Now.” Every page (except in the Shop section) also ends with the proprietary One Night Standard same-day booking app and a newsletter subscription box.

Amar Lalvani, managing partner of Standard International, told Skift that the site design prioritizes the most user-friendly mobile interface possible, because that’s how the majority of Standard guests are accessing the lifestyle content. The stories are displayed with the same clarity and device responsiveness as streamlined content portals like Medium, with an emphasis on large photos, lots of white space, long scrolls and easily readable fonts.

The end result is an unprecedented level of immediacy with the Standard Hotels’ lifestyle vibe.

“The immersive hospitality experience for which The Standard is known at our hotels is now more closely represented digitally,” says Lalvani. “This site now gives visitors a window into the culture of our community and the interests of our team, which are constantly evolving.”

He explains that because so many users are directed from Google and other research engines into the website’s interior pages, the user interface had to immediately engage guests in Standard culture without losing any functionality.

That’s accomplished by making the content quickly accessible and interconnected from every page. Lalvani told us that one of the most difficult things to accomplish when designing a mobile-first website with so many content layers is making sure that users always know where they are and how to intuitively navigate where they want to go.

The Food & Drink and Happenings sections in the main nav bar are broken down by destination. The Culture category, meanwhile, is explored via Standard’s different content series revolving around art (Art Inspection), music (Standard Sounds), nightlife (Party Patrol), and culinary trends (Table Talk).

The Le Bain section highlights DJs, photographers and other emerging artists. We like the fun Room Reports where cultural influencers are interviewed in a specific guest room.

“It’s been really exciting to merge our content, culture and next generation technology to connect visitors to the site with the energy and experiences that happen on-property,” says Lalvani. “It’s something The Standard is uniquely able to do because it can’t be faked. No one has this level of depth of content and culture because we live it everyday.”

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Tags: standard hotels

Photo credit: The new Standard Hotels homepage. Standard International

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