User Experience / Web Design / Web Development


Thomas Cook is one of the most long-standing and well-known names in the global travel industry, starting life as a provider of one-day rail excursions around the East Midlands region of England, back in 1841. Today, they are one of the largest international tour operators in the world, operating in 16 countries and providing holidays and travel around the globe for 19 million customers.

The Brief

Having designed and developed the original online brochure store for Thomas Cook in 2010 it was agreed between both parties that the time was right to modernise. The key aim for the re-imagined brochure store was to provide inspiration for holiday-seekers to explore new locations, and to help them choose their perfect holiday. The task therefore was to bring the site up-to-date and in line with present-day trends and expectations around online user experience.

Heuristic Evaluation

At the heart of the new design was a need to improve the overall user experience for visitors to the site.

This involved our Head of UX, Ollie Wells, undertaking a heuristic evaluation of the entire existing site, to try to fully understand the areas in which usability could be enhanced.

Working with the Thomas Cook Teams

To help develop a clear understanding of how the existing site could be improved, Ollie led a series of workshops with various staff members of the Thomas Cook team, as well as evaluating feedback from their Customer Care team.

In addition, Ollie visited the Thomas Cook Live Chat team in Bulgaria, who are on the front line in terms of answering queries from customers, using the brochure store daily to direct clients to specific destinations.

The process allowed Ollie insight into how both customers and staff used the existing website, highlighting areas where navigation and usability could be improved through the new design.

More than just a brochure store

Following the study, work with the Thomas Cook teams, and a full UX review based on the findings, the design team reimagined the site to create a new platform that would be more than simply a storage facility for online brochures, but an interactive site designed to whet the visitors’ appetite for new destinations and types of holiday.

This includes:

  • Simpler navigation to the destinations people wish to view
  • Scrapbook facility that allows visitors to return to later, or use in-store with a travel consultant
  • Remembering previously viewed destinations so visitors can easily return at a later time – particularly useful when planning and researching different holiday options.
  • Fully responsive to enable the store to be accessed by desktop, tablet or mobile device.



"“It was a really rewarding and valuable experience to have access to the different teams within Thomas Cook, as it provided us the opportunity to understand the issues and needs at a granular level, and deliver a solution that enhances the user experience and helps the overall Thomas Cook focus on inspiring their customers to new, exciting holiday experiences.”"

Ollie Wells
Head of UX, UpriseVSI

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