We only went and bloody won!
To win gold at the NZ Design Institute Digital Website Award is something we were not expecting, but welcomed with open arms. The energy an acknowledgement of this stature brings is priceless.
I won’t lie, we needed it. It’s just so doom and gloom lately and I see my friends, colleagues and family doing their best to stay positive and get through all the challenges. As more and more bookings dropped off the radar, it started to feel like all the hard work was for nothing. Of course, you get the odd appraisal, but it has been difficult this year to ensure we keep optimistic while the world seems to crumble around us.
The judges put how we felt into words.
[The] Bushman Tours design is a well thought out, inspiring, yet practical New Zealand adventure tourism platform. The website’s content creates a sense of place, a sense of experience and tells a unique narrative about the outdoor guides that you choose to book with. This is a much-needed experience for a post-COVID world.
We went up against some big, beautiful websites, but the element that really sticks out to Andy and I were those involved. Our competition had a minimum of five other developers working on their platforms. We had one.
This to me (in probably an egotistical way), is the result of true grit and hard work. During the New Zealand lockdown, we were cranking out twelve to fourteen hour days. We planned every corner of this thing and ensured we had multiple project pipelines on the table once we were live.
Andy was helping his small business clients go from high street to online retailers in the space of a week, while having me constantly nag about going live before the COVID lockdown.
NZ Design Institute: Progression and innovation
What really excites me is how much more we’re looking at building, and it’s the NZ Design Institute that really push that for applicants of the awards. I believe we thrive on pushing for this.
Take this blog for example, we run out of time to add it to version 2.0, but that allowed us space to get it right for version 2.2.
I’ve always been keen on not just being ahead of the curve, but inventing it. Our website will act as a modern, innovative way to tour New Zealand (and one day the world), but focus on climate and conservation while doing so.
Presently, we’re chipping away at our wants and needs for the site so that when the borders open, we can scale with ease and avoid any supply and demand issues. What’s often missed by businesses is the preparation for a huge customer demand. Too many customers can ruin your business if you don’t have the processes in place. So, while the market is quiet and the borders closed, we’ll be preparing our backend to essentially offer more tours, experiences and adventures than any other supplier in the country.
A day after I was made aware we’d won the design awards, I was prepping at 7am for Peter to arrive. We had the prestigious New Zealand Qualmark auditors coming in to review our business and provide us a certification from their industry standards. They marked us on certain criteria and decided what ranking we are on compared to a national average. Nervous is an understatement. Someone we’ve never met before is coming to review all our hard work over the last two years. No pressure then.
This month was a good one. A huge hunting booking went out over the long weekend with Bushman Shaun, we are navigating our Qualmark audit with confidence, we turned two years old, and we won an award.
May the good times continue to roll into the new year, and thank you to the NZ Design Institute judges for giving us this one 🙌