Project Overview

Three web pages displayed for Basecamp Smoky Mountains on a light gray background showcase a nature-themed website with images of the Smoky Mountains, accommodation listings, a photo gallery, and green accents. The site feels like an online basecamp for outdoor enthusiasts.

Project Overview

Project Name: Basecamp Smoky Mountains: Your Ultimate Nature Retreat

Description: Basecamp Smoky Mountains is a premier nature retreat located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. It offers an immersive experience that allows visitors to disconnect from their hectic lives and reconnect with nature and themselves. This UX case study aims to enhance the user experience of Basecamp's website and booking system to ensure visitors can effortlessly plan their retreat and feel the serenity of nature from the very first interaction.

The Product: The product is a comprehensive online platform for Basecamp Smoky Mountains, designed to provide users with detailed information about the retreat, its unique offerings, and easy booking options. It includes features like virtual tours of eco-villas, detailed descriptions of activities, and a streamlined booking process.

Project Duration: The project took about 4 months.

The Problem: Users are currently encountering difficulties with navigating the website, finding relevant information about the retreat, and completing the booking process. These issues are causing frustration and could potentially deter users from booking their stay at Basecamp Smoky Mountains.

The Goal: The goal of this case study is to create an intuitive, efficient, and enjoyable user experience that allows potential visitors to easily find information, explore accommodation options, and book their stay. By achieving this, we aim to increase user satisfaction and boost booking rates.

Our Role: As UX Designers, our role is to lead the design process, conduct user research, analyze feedback, and create design solutions that meet user needs and goals.


  • Conducting user research and analysis
  • Creating user personas and journey maps
  • Designing mockups (mockup 1, mockup 2) and a working prototype
  • Conducting usability testing
  • Collaborating with developers to implement design solutions
A screenshot of Basecamp Smoky Mountaints Website showing photos of their immersive retreat.

Understanding the User

User Research: To understand user behavior and needs, I will employ various UX metrics and research methods, including:

  • User Interviews: Conduct interviews with owners to understand their experiences and expectations.
  • Usability Testing: Observe users as they navigate the current website to identify areas of confusion or frustration.
  • Competitor Analysis: Analyze competitors for comparisons.

Summary: The primary users are individuals and couples looking for a peaceful nature retreat to disconnect from their busy lives and reconnect with nature. They seek clear information about the retreat, its amenities, and activities, and a seamless booking experience.

Pain Point: Users are frustrated with the website’s navigation and the booking process, finding it difficult to locate necessary information and complete their reservations smoothly.


Persona 1:

  • Name: Sarah Johnson
  • Age: 35
  • Occupation: Marketing Manager
  • Goals: To find a peaceful retreat to unwind and recharge
  • Frustrations: Difficulty finding detailed information about activities and accommodations, complicated booking process
  • Tech Savviness: Moderate

Persona 2:

  • Name: Mark Thompson
  • Age: 42
  • Occupation: Software Developer
  • Goals: To book a nature retreat for his wife to disconnect and bond
  • Frustrations: Confusing website navigation, lack of clear directions for booking
  • Tech Savviness: High

Problem Statements and User Journey

Problem Statements:

A screenshot of Basecamp Smoky Mountaints Website showing the mega menu.
  1. Users are struggling to find detailed information about the retreat's offerings, leading to confusion and frustration.
  2. The booking process is not user-friendly, causing users to abandon their reservations.

User Journey Map:

  1. Awareness: User hears about Basecamp Smoky Mountains through social media or word of mouth.
  2. Research: User visits the website to gather information about the retreat and its offerings.
  3. Consideration: User explores different accommodation options and activities.
  4. Decision: User decides to book a stay but encounters difficulties with the booking process.
  5. Booking: User completes the booking process after overcoming initial hurdles.
  6. Experience: User arrives at the retreat and enjoys their stay.
  7. Feedback: User leaves feedback about their experience.

UX Structure:

  • Home Page: Clear overview of the retreat, highlighting unique features and benefits.
  • Accommodations Page: Detailed descriptions and virtual tours of eco-villas.
  • Activities Page: Information on available activities and experiences.
  • Booking Page: Simplified booking process with clear steps and instructions.
  • Contact Page: Easy access to contact information and support.

The Impact and Learnings

Impact: By improving the user experience of the Basecamp Smoky Mountains website, we aim to increase user satisfaction, reduce booking abandonment, and ultimately boost booking rates. The enhanced website will provide users with a seamless and enjoyable planning experience, setting the tone for their retreat.

What I Learned: This project highlighted the importance of understanding user needs and behavior through thorough research. It also underscored the value of iterative design and usability testing in creating intuitive and effective user experiences.

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Lori Newman

Hello, cyber explorers! I'm Lori Newman, the proud Creative Director and co-founder of Newman Web Solutions, where we don't just build websites; we craft digital experiences that captivate, convert, and conquer! Based in the bustling tech hub of Atlanta, I've spent over a decade in the digital realm, turning pixels into Picasso-esque masterpieces and code into poetry.

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