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Building a Dynamic US Tourism Experience

With target traffic coming from outside of the US, localization was key for Brand USA to expand US tourism through a new Drupal 8 site.

  • 1 #

    Gold Winner of the Travel Weekly 2017 Magellan Award for excellence in travel technology.

  • 35 modules

    A testament to the strength of Drupal 8's core, the site was built with 35 modules. With Drupal 7, the same functionality would require 50+ modules.

woman using iphone to take a picture in a city setting

Project Goals

  • Migrate from Sitecore to Drupal 8
  • Decrease bounce rate
  • Create a user-friendly trip planner
  • Integrate with Acquia Lift to build a personalized user experience
  • Migrate content across multiple country site domains (for example, fr.visittheusa.com for France)
  • Develop website features and infrastructure that allow for continuous improvement and user-based customization, including front and backend coding, ingestion of data, integration of third-party APIs, and testing/quality assurance
  • Support transition to the VisitTheUSA.com team via training sessions including CMS training and Technical (code) walkthroughs
Man wearing headphones at desk with window view of sunset in background

Theming

Parallel Development with Components

With a Drupal-agnostic component-based approach, front end development ran in parallel or ahead of back end development. The entire front end was built in a living styleguide which served as a single code source, ensured consistency, and avoided some of the common challenges (like improper markup that interferes with site functionality) in a traditional developer to themer handoff. Front end development was completed ahead of schedule. Based on the project requirements, Mediacurrent was able to identify early on that several components were the same or similar on different pages. This allowed us to build a component once and reuse it as many times as needed. In cases where a component had different variations from page to page, we used KSS Node and added modifier classes to change the component as needed without having to rebuild it from scratch.

Localization and Data-driven Personalization

With Acquia Lift, the Brand USA team can observe users’ location-based behaviors and learn how different audience segments interact with the site. Content preferences are also tracked: when a user interacts with content on the page, Lift will track that user’s interests. This contributes to a profile within Lift that centers around the user’s primary interests including outdoors, food and drink, cities and towns, and other main topic categories.

Brand USA website trip planner on desktop, mobile, tablet
caravan driving past a large mountain

Final Thoughts

With the power and versatility of Drupal in combination with Acquia Lift tools, VistTheUSA.com provides an ideal framework for Brand USA to expand and adapt their digital business. Post-launch, Brand USA and Mediacurrent have a support agreement where we will continue to build on the platform, growing personalization features and user interactive tools.

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