There’s a good chance you have never heard of Oostende, but if this city has its way you’ll be visiting soon. Like many locations around the globe, this city is putting a new emphasis on branding in an attempt to woo new customers and build a name for their area.
Also known as Ostend, Belgium, this city has a website that makes it seem like the next happening place to vacation. This is achieved most notably by fitting a wide range of information on the homepage, with information on so many activities that there is sure to be something to please everyone. The impression is that there is so much to do here that they simply can’t fit it all.
Website Reviewed: visitoostende.be/en
However, it is important to accomplish this feeling without being cluttered or overwhelming. Again, Visit Oostende manages to walk the fine line. Organization is the key to this. A brightly colored navigation bar at the top of the page makes it easy to find information quickly if you are there for a specific purpose. If you are there to browse, scrolling down a few inches brings you to articles, pictures, and links to relevant websites. This is a great place to book your next trip to Belgium or simply to dream about it. Here is how we think the page adds up.
Creativity: 5 stars. Not only is the website bright and fun, it fits a whole lot of information on one page without feeling overdone. While this may not seem creative, it requires a great deal of imaginative planning and thought.
Ease of use: 4 stars. This website is well organized, which makes it very easy to use. Regardless of what information you seek about the area, you are sure to find it and find it quickly. The use of different colored boxes makes the categories even more obvious. However, the large amount of information can make things more difficult to find than they need to be.
Functionality: 5 stars. Whether you want to find pictures of a local festival on Flickr or become a Facebook fan, you can find all of the functions you need conveniently located on the homepage.
Content: 4 stars. There are a few grammatical errors that appear to be the result of problems with translation. Otherwise, the copy is inviting and well written enough to convey information in a professional way without feeling distracting or untrustworthy.
Appropriateness: 5 stars. This website strikes the right balance between informativeness and fun. It establishes the Oostende tourism board as an authority on the area and has the feeling of a ‘go-to’ hub for people wanting to visit the area.
Overall: 4.6 stars. This is a lot of information to fit on a relatively small website, but Visit Oostende accomplishes it well. The home page in particular has a lot of information but it well organized and easy to use. This website definitely shows potential for becoming the expert of its field.