I've got a concept of a destination-site (about Paris) covering topics like: Hotels, Restaurants, activities, tripplans, and all other usual suspects. This topic-based navigation is the de facto standard for these kinds of sites. (see Tripadvisor, Fodors, etc. )
However, at the same time, researching and booking a trip can be divided in pretty distinct phases (up for debate how clear these boundaries are). Google for example distinguishes: Dreaming, Researching, Booking, Experiencing and Sharing. (see for example: http://www.eyefortravel.com/social-media-and-marketing/insight-online-travel-search-google)
Based on this, I'm trying to come up with an IA, which combines these 2 facets, where the Phases are the primary navigation and the Topics the secondary navigation.
This allows for a more logical IA when trying to integrate functionality in a later stage, like planning and suggestion-tools imho. Moreover, it may give a fresh and distinctive perspective.
The Primary/Main navigation includes:
- Gather Ideas
- Search & Compare
While the secondary navigation includes Topics depending on the primary, e.g:
- Explore > Hotels (casual browsing / guided exploration)
- Explore > Restaurants
- Explore > Vibes & Experiences
- Explore > ...
- Gather Ideas > (wizard-style suggestions, community Q&A, shared tripplans)
- Read-up > Blogposts / Articles
- Read-up > in-depth Paris Guide
- Search & Compare > Hotels
- Search & Compare> Restaurants
- Plan (creating tripplans, sharing them, etc. )
I've included a screenshot, how this would/could work.
Trying to ask an objective question: Given the fact that a travel-site often has clear goals (some users are casually exploring, some know what they want and will directly be searching, while others have already booked and want to plan their trip) would task-based navigation on such a site make sense? (Even though users may not expect it initially)
I know I could do some testing (verifyapp or whatever, but I've already done some small testing and there's really 2 distinct camps), so I'm looking for advice on a more fundamental level.