I cut my teeth on international travel and living abroad when Lonely Planet (print) Guidebooks ruled the circuit. It would be comical to show up to a recommended cafe and see 5 or 6 other people at the same cafe, all mulling over the same Lonely Planet Guides.
I really loved those guides.
All about the content.
They had authenticity, personality - an on the ground kind of feel.
Lonely Planet Guidebooks were your local “friends” that gave you an insiders edge.
If Anthony Bourdain wrote guidebooks, he would have written guides for Lonely Planet in those days.
Frankly, I find the 'new' design to be dull, boring and reflective of the content. No edge.
Design by committee feel. Namaste designers. I can feel the power struggle in the design.
Pleasing everyone and thus, no-one.
Very generic two column layout with junk drawers stashed everywhere.
Travel is about imagery. We want to see images of where we want to go - and dream. Image features are dinky, lack any legibility that really inspires. Feature image galleries feel like they’re from the Flickr playbook from five years ago. They feel totally disconnected to the content.
User experience to actually get to an article of value is clumsy and drawn out.
I say these things because I really loved what the company once stood for - - the content, unconventional approach and edge. This could just as easily be Travelocity city guides for all I know.
Generic content (to get eyeballs!) wrapped around their travel booking business.
I’d love to see Lonely Planet do deep, deep surgery and do something relevant again in the travel industry.
While not a “travel site” - I find those like Roads & Kingdoms - http://roadsandkingdoms.com/ - doing far more relevant and contemporary work with regards to location features and insights.
I hope the feedback is useful and would love to see a Lonely Planet comeback
As someone who travels a lot, I can’t see myself using this site at all.
Why did the Destinations Beta go away. It doesn't seem to work anymore. :(
Is it just me or is that a faux italic?