James Armitage

Portfolio

These are the websites I've worked on in my previous role at Holiday Extras and my current role at QVC.

QVC

Legoland Holidays

At QVC I'm a bridge between designers, back end developers and business stakeholders. There are three key facets to my role:

  1. Global projects: One of the advantages of a multinational company is the ability to leverage knowledge and resources between markets. I'm well placed with experience of working with international development teams at Pfizer and Holiday Extras and at QVC I communicate with colleagues from the US and Germany on a daily basis. Currently I'm working with an Agile journey team to replace the current search and navigation pages. The project started with the US development which launched in late 2016, which will be followed by the UK and Germany release early this year.
  2. Local projects: For example, I migrated QVC's blog platform from Typepad to a new Wordpress installation.
  3. Running split tests: I create Monetate experiences to discover where conversion gains can be achieved.

Legoland Holidays

Legoland Holidays

Legoland Holidays is the largest website in the short breaks portfolio in terms of booking volume. During my time at Holiday Extras I was responsible for many updates to the site. I implemented the homepage and extras stage in the booking process, and built the new Legoland Hotel page. The site is based on bespoke designs generated by the user experience team using Mockflow and I was expected to ensure elements appear exactly the same across all modern browsers. Sprites are used widely across the site to reduce the number of HTTP requests required by the client.

Alton Towers Breaks

Alton Towers Breaks

When Alton Towers redesigned their own site in early 2011, I had to reskin both the SEO pages and the booking process to match the new design. During the project I adapted the PSD of the navigation bar provided by the park to match the short breaks site and introduced many other elements to give the site a new feel, which was approved directly by the park. This all happened while ensuring that the booking process remained intact and that customers could continue to book using the old design until the rebrand was ready to launch.

Chessington Holidays

Chessington Holidays

On the Chessington Holidays site I implemented a number of changes, including highlighting the on site hotels with zebra print backgrounds to make them stand out, implementing countdown clocks on the homepage to count down to the expiry of an offer, and multiple optimisations of the booking engine.

Thorpe Breaks

Thorpe Breaks

In 2010 I redesigned Thorpe Breaks based on an original design from the park, similar to Alton Towers Breaks. I adapted many of the elements provided by the park to match the requirements of the breaks site, with a minimum of points raised for improvement at the sign off stage. Following this I was involved with general maintenance, especially with the many offers which needed to be implemented during the summer season.

Eden Project Breaks

Eden Project Breaks

Having seen the success of similar short break packages for Legoland and Thorpe Park, the Eden Project were keen to set up a new holiday site for their brand. In spring 2010 I created the site as part of a small team of an account manager, a project manager and a back-end developer.

Paultons Breaks

Paultons Breaks

In late 2010 I was asked to completely redesign Paultons Breaks after the park updated their site. For many years the short breaks site had been neglected and was underperforming, and this meant that there was very little budget allocated for creating the new version. I created many of the images for the new site based on an original PSD file and turned around the redesign in time for the 2011 season. Combined with the launch of Peppa Pig World at the theme park, the site went from being one of the poorest performing sites in the portfolio to one of the strongest brands.

Show And Stay

Show And Stay

Show and Stay is Holiday Extras' own brand theatre breaks offering, allowing customers to create bespoke theatre, dinner and hotel packages in the West End of London. I often uploaded new images and new offers to the site.

Play And Stay

Play And Stay

Along a similar line to Show and Stay, the Play and Stay site offers theme park breaks under its own brand name. One of my first tasks upon joining Holiday Extras in mid-2009 was to make the booking process more consistent throughout which involved ensuring all hotel and attraction images were present, that all package options appeared in a neat grid layout and that also all current offers appeared correctly. From time to time I performed routine maintenance on the site.

PassSmart

PassSmart

The latest addition to the Holiday Extras portfolio, PassSmart offers a searchable directory of independent driving instructors, offering learner drivers a better way of finding one which suits them. I created a cross-client email template for the brand. I also made other smaller tweaks across the rest of the site, while ensuring that the responsive layout worked across all devices.

Legoland Holidays Germany

Legoland Holidays Günzburg

Through late 2009, my first major project at Holiday Extras was to set up a new short breaks site for Legoland in Günzburg, Germany within a large team of developers and account managers. This was a highly challenging project as it involved many new concepts for the business such as dealing with Lastschrift deposit bookings and ensuring everything on the site could be accessed in both German and English.