The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers

Building a tourism membership platform for a vibrant community

ASSC membership platform homepage image

The need to digitise a community

The ASSC are Scotland’s leading professional community for self-catering businesses. They needed to transform how they onboarded new members, how they supported existing members, and how they managed memberships internally.

Colour palette for ASSC membership platform, alongside benefits screen

A platform empowering new and existing members

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers boast a deeply engaged four-figure membership community of holiday cottage operators. Their current digital solution needed not only modernising and simplifying but also made to look more attractive to new, prospective members.

What was needed was a website which revitalised all member services and resources, whilst reducing the touchpoints involved in things like onboarding and invoicing. The member's area needed to be easier to navigate and the workflow for new members needed reinventing, to better show users their options.

Many considerations needed to be made alongside this effort, including the migration of years of data and member-only resources. Ultimately, the incredible work the ASSC does to support, endorse and advocate for self-catering businesses needed to be housed appropriately. To support them in their mission and to help grow their community.

Scottish seaside town with multi-coloured houses
Become an ASSC member screens, shown on mobile
Airbnb sponsorship screen for ASSC website
Two people walking dogs along coastal rocks in Scotland

The building blocks of onboarding

Years of growing membership numbers saw the ASSC weighed down by an outdated invoicing system and a complicated sign-up process for new members.

These were two integral parts of the business that wasted time and resources within the association. A series of Discovery Workshops and collaborative research sessions gathered requirements, benchmarks and insights to take forward into the new site.

The design team created a number of clear, vibrant workflows for businesses looking to join, as the development team established a tech offering that would best suit the needs of the ASSC, based on their variety of subscription models. The digital engagement team crafted clear copy for every stage of onboarding, and put together communications to inform existing members of the changes.

A new invoicing system brought a more transparent and efficient user experience for both the ASSC and their members, whilst the new onboarding experience gave prospective members more reason to join.

Homepage and payment screens on ASSC membership platform, shown on mobile and desktop

Bringing the ASSC brand back home

A key challenge saw the design team needing to inject life into the site’s interface whilst retaining the Association’s existing visual identity. It meant reflecting the values of the ASSC’s welcoming, vibrant community, as well as the diversity and beauty of Scotland itself, the environment in which these holiday cottages operate in.

The visuals across the site aimed to keep you amongst nature - a strong, natural colour palette giving users the go-ahead to act, and capturing the warmth of the team and the passion present at the ASSC. Imagery was a collaborative effort, curating moments that captured the essence of self-catering in Scotland.

Copy throughout the site put a distinct set of member benefits in front of those who needed to see them, and the member's area was reimagined to make it easier to find what you needed. Information and resources play a huge part at the association and a decade of policies and news were presented appropriately to help members run their businesses.

ASSC membership plan summary screen

A tool for members to utilise

Ultimately, this is what the site was for - empowering self-catering business owners and helping them navigate the industry and connect with others.

Many elements of the existing site that achieved this were migrated and enhanced. A bespoke discussion form containing thousands of conversations and sets of user-generated advice around the self-catering industry. An archive of guidance sheets and resources for members, addressing various regulations and concerns. A system of gating content for the eyes of members and members only.

The result was a contained space for members to access information and interact with one another, as well as a way of attracting prospective members to resources to show them the value of becoming a member.

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