Graduate Hotels is a growing collection of eclectic hotels set in historic American college towns, inspired by a mid-century, academic aesthetic. They celebrate the youthful optimism of university life and cultivate a spirit that thoughtfully aligns each hotel within its respective cultural narrative. Every smart cultural nod in the place winks at the heritage and history of each unique town. Guests can bask in the unexpected, where little moments of surprise and discovery meet them around every corner.
Our relationship with the Graduate team started in 2014. Under the guidance of Bucktrout, Wallop helped develop a brand that told the story of their properties against the backdrop of the web. We developed a framework that simplified the growth of their collection, allowing the personality of each property to be represented within the constructs of the brand. For years, Graduate would go on to use our framework to great effect as the company developed.
As the years passed, and Graduate came of age, its web presence began to show the telltale signs of senectitude. Like a long-loved pair of university loafers, Graduate had finally outgrown the look and capability of its website. In 2016, Wallop was tasked with the revamp of Graduate’s web presence. The assignment was clear: bring the look and feel of Graduate into today’s mobile friendly, modern web. In the months to come, Graduate would look like a freshman again.
So in 2016, Wallop was tasked with the revamp of Graduate’s web presence. The assignment was clear: bring the look and feel of Graduate into today’s mobile friendly, modern web. In the months to come, Graduate would look like a freshman again.
We went back to the drawing board and pivoted from our initial strategy of individual, standalone websites to a single parent website child properties. It was a large undertaking, and not without its challenges.
Skeuomorphic design was a prominent feature in Gradate’s visual language. To keep with the times we striped away the old textural, textbook feel in favour of a breathable, dynamic aesthetic. Content areas were paired down to only essential information, and coupled with unique, interactive structures.
A honed focus on the new breadth of the collection now allows users effortless transit between each unique property. On top of it all, a muscular mobile experience allows it all to happen on the go.
This was a very heavy website. But speed was on the top of our agenda, so we implemented a series of technical enhancements to improve loading speeds despite the heft caused by large images and assortment of third party scripts. As a result the website earned high marks for speed and optimization from independent third parties, in addition to providing a boost to the digital marketing strategy.