Holidu – Where do you want to go?

European Design Awards. 2016

"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls."

The story behind

The two german brothers Simon and Michael were planning a surfing trip with friends in Portugal – but ended up spending entire nights going through countless of accomodation sites. Why did such a simple search and price comparison have to be so difficult? So they decided to create the best vacation rentals search in the world – Holidu. 

Started in 2014 in Munich, Holidu aims to be the fastest meta search for holiday homes.

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The main challenge for us was to bring together the technical and human aspect of the brand. While a meta search as a tool is supposed to be fast, easy and reliable, the feeling of going on vacation is practically the opposite; it’s about relaxation, adventure and fun. 

<p>Simplify your tedious vacation rental search process by using Holidu, the shortcut to your vacation rental.</p>
Fig 5.

Simplify your tedious vacation rental search process by using Holidu, the shortcut to your vacation rental.


Our design approach focuses primarily on the simplicity and effortness of the tool, but we – literally – added a twist to a rather straight forward design concept.

<p>– 12. Concept explorations</p>
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– 12. Concept explorations

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Vacation is about moving from A to B, so animation is a key element of the identity. We simply connected two dots with a line and let the line bend and twirl into new and fun shapes. This gives the brand endless opportunities to evolve. We added a maritime color scheme which is both functional for digital applications and works well with the classic vacation pictures.

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Main animation

<p>Holidu iconography</p>
Fig 15.

Holidu iconography


The holidu brand is based on simple but twirly shapes and a very clear color scheme. Since it's primarily a digital brand, we put extra attention on screen performance. The elements of the identity make it easy to categorize, structure and layout complex data, but also add personality and emotions to a rather functional interface.

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<p>Holidu website</p>
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Holidu website

<p>Holistic iconographic family</p>
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Holistic iconographic family

<p>Features like drawing a search region make the search comfortable and easy.</p>
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Features like drawing a search region make the search comfortable and easy.

<p>Pets allowed / Pets not allowed. Putting emotions and humor into tiny icons</p>
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Pets allowed / Pets not allowed. Putting emotions and humor into tiny icons

Holidu app

After a very successful first year, Holidu decided to launch their own app. The Holidu app allows a very fast and more personalized usage of their search tool. One of the challenges of meta searches is that there can litterally be thousands of results. Who has the time to look through everything? The goal was to provide users exactly with what they are looking for without asking too many questions.

In close cooperation with Holidu, we worked out complex wireframes. (We love when it gets tricky!) We developed quick and intuitive tools, which understand the character of the trip and narrow down the result list. The app concept is to offer functionality only when necessary, so that the main purpose is not clouded:

"We do one thing and we do it best"
Fig 23.

Holidu wireframes search

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Holidu wireframes product displays and map

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Holidu wireframes trips and reviews

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Holidu wireframes lists and sharing

Holidus search algorithm uses intelligent soft and hard filters for very personalized search results. Drawing a search region or using heatmaps make it extra comfortable to search in a predefined map area. We didn't want the user to lose time anywhere, so flipping through images is easy, creating lists effortless, and you can share the vacation homes with your friends on the spot.

<p>Starting screen</p>
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Starting screen

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Starting screen

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<p>Create trips</p>
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Create trips

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<p>404 screen</p>
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404 screen

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404 screen

<p>Forwarding to the result</p>
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Forwarding to the result

<p>Edit your list</p>
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Edit your list


Additionally to a fast and rich search experience, we also wanted to give room to the emotional aspect of the brand. So we decided to show the app functionalities by telling a simple story about the app in the onboarding process:

Search, love, share, enjoy.

The onboarding animation is set up as a short story which consists out of 4 steps. Each step has been illustrated to present one main functionality of the app. The goal was to immediately explain the app without being too technical or complex. Also, the onboarding is a friendly welcome to all new users.

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Step 01 – Search

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Step 02 – Love

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Step 03 – Share

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Step 04 – Enjoy!

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Holidu house grid

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Search tool

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Star grid

Fig 46.

Holidu onboarding animation


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