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Improved user journey with fresh design & new CMS

ÖTILLÖ Swimrun

  • my roles
  • Wireframing
  • visual design
  • Front end development
  • WordPress integration

Swimrun is a sport where a team of two alternate between running and swimming in a race through nature and picturesque environments. It embodies the spirit of adventure, endurance, and teamwork.

ÖTILLÖ are the number one Swimrun event organiser in the world. Originating in Sweden and translating to “island to island” started with a drunken bet of four friends that wanted to cross the Stockholm archipelago from Utö to Sandhamn (70km). They competed in pairs, swam and ran from island to island; the last team to make it to Sandhamn had to pay for the evening. This was the first recorded Swimrun in history and in 2006 they turned this bet into a commercial race which culminates at the ÖTILLÖ World Championships. 

ÖTILLÖ Race: Utö
Teamwork at ÖTILLÖ Race, Utö, where it all began.

My partner and I decided that we’d like to have a go and since we enjoy a challenge, we took part in the World Series in Engadin, Switzerland – 44km swimming and running through a stunning environment of glacial waters and over 4000 feet of elevation. Did I mention, we are attached via a three meter bungee chord!? Finishing was emotional and felt like a great achievement – we’re looking forward to the next one.

Identifying improvements

Using their website, I hadn’t found the signup process as simple as it could have been and I felt there was an opportunity to provide better post race content. I contacted ÖTILLÖ with a number of improvements I’d identified for their website. They agreed and explained they’d also struggled adding and updating content – the CMS was clunky, slow and difficult to use. We decided that we should rebuild the website with WordPress. At the same time apply some styling updates and enhance the overall user experience.

Otillo wireframes
Wireframe examples used in this project

How does it feel?

ÖTILLÖ events take place in beautiful, scenic locations and participating is an emotional experience for most, for us it was. When visiting the old website it felt gloomy. Images and videos were dark and overcast and it lacked any colour. It was important for the new style to be brighter, cheerful and we needed to make use of their amazing photos and colourful race day signage to demonstrate what it feels like to participate in their events. A fresh colour pallet and a new font shaped a more playful design and addressed some accessibility issues.

Otillo events
Event list and event details improved design.

Improved user journey

The old website was tough to navigate, the priority was to improve the events pages and journey to signup. I introduced a destination page which is used to provide information on the local area. It’s an opportunity to include location specific imagery and important details about hotels, directions and logistics. The event page itself is cleaner and easier to find the information you need both on desktop and mobile.

Based on my experience using the website along with Google Analytics, it was obvious that, once you’ve signed up and understand the logistics of the day, the next time participants return to the website is during or after the race. I included a ‘live’ tab that can be turned on during the event to provide specific details about the day and offer post race content such as results and images.

Otillo pages
Introducing destination details to promote the location.

Built with WordPress

All of this new functionality was integrated into a new WordPress website for ÖTILLÖ to create pages from any of the components we’ve designed and built, massively reducing the time it takes to add and update events, news articles and pages.

It’s a big step forwards for the company who now have a platform to develop further in the future. It was fun working with the team at ÖTILLÖ.