Case study

Skyscanner: unlocking the full power of WordPress

Helping Skyscanner better engage audiences with a cutting-edge redesign and improved functionality for content teams

1. About Skyscanner

Founded in 2003 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Skyscanner is a search aggregator and travel agency used by over 100 million people every month to search billions of prices for flights, hotels and car hire.

With a mission to help travellers plan and book trips with ease and confidence, Skyscanner prides itself on offering straightforward and speedy experiences while connecting travellers with trusted partners to provide honest and transparent solutions.

2. Modernising the Skyscanner blog

The Skyscanner blog, a network of almost 50 sites, needed a re-design to modernise the site, align with the brand’s corporate identity, and unlock the power of WordPress core functionality.

The existing theme was basic; Skyscanner’s editorial content had not had a theme update since its original installation, and lacked the ability to showcase Skyscanner’s brand effectively. The platform was also unmaintained, with broken features and a reliance on manual production for the editorial team.

As well as addressing the technical and backend blockers to increase CMS stability, the Skyscanner team were keen to embrace WordPress’ full power to communicate the brand’s value proposition to users in a compelling way. Behind this was an ambition to grow users’ brand affinity and streamline content workflows, including enabling new design templates for future blog articles.

Key deliverables included:

  • Updating the theme with new brand guidelines
  • Landing page hero header
  • Article header
  • Article card
  • Curated archives
  • Hub tiles
  • Patterns

3. Skyscanner x Exceptional ALIEN: influencer marketing campaign

To further push the brand and editorial style forward, Skyscanner collaborated with Exceptional ALIEN creators to produce curated travel guides. In what was a first-of-its-kind partnership for Skyscanner, Human Made supported the Skyscanner blog content team with an influencer marketing campaigns for six global cities.

Hosted on Skyscanner’s Austalian and Canadian sites, the guides are designed to inspire site visitors to engage with exciting local knowledge and boots-on-the-ground expertise, providing travellers with exclusive, insider experiences in iconic cities including London, Rome and Los Angeles. 

Requiring completely new designs unique to Skyscanner, the timeline for the project was tight, and the designs a lot more complex than the original Skyscanner blog reskin.

Key deliverables included:

  • Hub template page for each city
  • 6x destination pages, 1x for each key city
  • 20x article pages, 1x for each creator 
  • Interactive map

4. Agile collaboration in action

Given the tight turnaround times, our team knew that taking an Agile approach and working hand-in-hand with Skyscanner’s content team would be key to ensuring momentum and success.

Through coordinated sprint planning, design reviews, and team feedback sessions, as well as the HM’s teams’ knowledge in WordPress, Skyscanner Principal Content Strategist Noelia Guinion felt confident in the project’s delivery despite its complexity and tight timelines.

“The agile approach and the guidance of the team Scrum Master made this complex project work effectively and smoothly, with steady progress, firm prioritisation and a genuine team spirit that made the project enjoyable despite the challenges. I believe the team members all felt valuable, and were comfortable in raising any issues and give feedback to improve anything needing an extra pair of eyes.”

– Noelia Guinon, Principal Content Strategist, Skyscanner

“I felt the Human Made team became an extended arm for Skyscanner’s content marketing team from the moment we started our kick-off call. The dialogue was very open and transparent, solutions very properly researched and presented, and I heavily relied on the team’s vast expertise in deciding the right approach to any task.

There are few companies that can live up to their name, but Human Made are one of them. Working with Human Made felt like having your own in-house team of WordPress experts.”


5. Effective content production and a brand’s new lease of life

Thanks to the joint efforts of the Human Made and Skyscanner teams, both projects were brought to a successful launch with some impressive results.

  • More effective content production with new components and patterns.
  • Consistency throughout all editorial content and strict adherence to Skyscanner’s brand guidelines.
  • Raised the bar for content internally, showcasing what good content can do for the brand.

Human Made went beyond the project’s original scope to support the Skyscanner content team to ensure all deliverables were used effectively. Since the completion of both reskin and Exceptional ALIEN projects, our shared Slack channel has remained open, and we’ll be working together on continuous improvement tasks in a separate future project. 

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