Spotlight: Willard Airport

Welcome sign inside Willard Airport. Photo by Darrell Hoemann.

Willard Airport graciously welcomes you to Champaign-Urbana. Photo by Darrell Hoemann.

Part of welcoming newcomers to a community includes inviting tools for getting there. Indeed, one of the first things you see when you walk into the airport is an enormous “Welcome” sign! So when we began a new website design for Willard Airport, we felt like we were not only trying to capture the essence of the airport, but of Champaign-Urbana as a community, which of course includes the University of Illinois.

What They Needed

Since the new website was timed to coincide with some significant growth at the airport (namely the addition of United Airlines providing regular flights to the area), there was a lot to talk about in terms of adding to the website. The previous design was very simple — nearly monochromatic, with few pictures, and mostly text describing how to get to the airport and when to leave. It did the job, but there was no real fanfare or flavor.

How We Got There

Willard Airport's previous website

Willard’s original website was nearly monochromatic – functional, but not beautiful.

To get the vibe we were looking for, all we needed was a tour of the airport. Sure, many of us have passed through there at one time or another. But it was nice to have the time and excuse to simply look at the building. The soaring architecture, the flow of foot traffic, and the clean, modern signage say a lot more about the airport than their original website did. We used that to our advantage, adding a collection of beautiful aerial photos (shot by local photographer Darrell Hoemann) as well as interior shots that highlighted the modern decor. Frequently-needed information is well-highlighted throughout the website in large, contemporary boxes that invite you to find the information you need rather than simply hunt for it.

What’s Still To Come

Although the newly-designed website took flight a few weeks ago, there are more updates on the horizon. You’ll see flight schedules that update in real time, and you’ll soon be able to book your flight right from Willard’s website. Their goal is to be your one-stop travel destination, and with a combination of a clean, inviting look and the integration of dynamic travel tools, they’re sure to get there.

Aerial photo of Willard Airport. Photo by Darrell Hoemann.

photo by Darrell Hoemann