Appnovation Vancouver


Visit California is a nonprofit organization with a mission to develop and maintain marketing programs that inspire travel to California. Their job is to get people excited to visit the sunshine state in support of rental car companies, hotels, national parks, wineries, restaurants and everything in between and provide the tools to plan a memorable trip.

We helped Visit California design and build Road Trip Republic, the digital destination to get people inspired and help plan their ultimate California road trip.

With Visit California, we set three goals when building the Road Trip Republic digital hub:
1. Get users to consume the content and engage with the website more.
2. Get users to stay on the website, as many users who landed on the website were bouncing right off without engaging.
3. Ensure a fast website for the best user experience possible, as other pages of the website had issues with load times.

Overall, our goal was to build a digital experience that would engage users with relevant, fast-loading content in an interactive way, so they can plan a trip from start to finish.

Our strategy was to enable people from all over the world can create, save and share their dream California vacation like never before. Whether on desktop or mobile, we wanted users to realize the multitude of customized road trip itineraries available, see them plotted on a map and follow links to learn more.

We also knew the experience needed to be unique. What differentiates Road Trip Republic are the uniquely curated road trips, which cannot be found anywhere else. From a UX Design perspective, Road Trip Republic digital hub gives a mobile experience that users would expect from a native app. There is no other webpage that offers a similar mobile experience.

Before bringing it to life, we needed to understand who was visiting the website and why. Our user research uncovered that the site wasn’t about getting people to consider California - most users were coming because they had already decided to visit California and now needed to plan their dream vacation. The secondary target was people who were still in the consideration phase of choosing a vacation destination.

Next, we designed and developed a digital hub to help solve visitors' biggest challenge - creating the perfect visit for their dream vacation in California.

We also made the website is available in 17 languages so people from all over the world can create, save and share their dream California vacation and hit the road like never before.

Road Trip Republic allows people from all over the world create, save and share their dream California vacation.

The digital hub combines high impact video and an elegant card-based page design that is easy to scan, maximizes simplicity and reduces cognitive load. Rich imagery and simple text make the experience simple and inspirational.

Users can click on the search tool to find road trips based on their preference of region, activity, duration and distance.

They can quickly scan to realize the 50+ available road trip itineraries or they can select from a variety of differently grouped road trips including personalized options, road trips by category like outdoors or family fun, or specially curated road trips like Tasty Trips or Eclectic Adventures.

Clicking on a card takes a user into a specific road trip to reveal its details, including an engaging map that allows users to browse through road trip stops.

Links provide additional information for users to learn more about the stop’s surrounding area.

And finally, the road trips site makes it easy for visitors who need a rental to find and compare rental car prices.

Sustainability within the travel and tourism industry is a constant consideration for Visit California. We worked with them to promote road trips that do not lead to over-tourism or hotspots within the state, stressing resources. Many of the curated road trips take travellers on off-the-beaten path routes and to lesser-known destinations.

Since the launch of Road Trip Republic in June 2019, the mobile-enabled website has seen a 65% increase in the number of pages visited per user, demonstrating that users are more engaged with the website and its content.

There has been a 78% increase in repeat visitors on the website, showing that the page is retaining users. Lastly, the Road Trip Republic page is loading 2.7 times faster, meaning a better user experience for users.

Though travel promotion is halted as the state, and world, deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital hub is as a great way for people to dream about better days.


Creativepool Annual Award


  • Visit CaliforniaClient
Annual 2020 People's ChoiceRoad Trip RepublicDigital Annual 2020 ShortlistRoad Trip RepublicWeb Contributor:

Appnovation has been a Contributor since 25th November 2015.

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