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Improving the Customer Experience Does Not End at Responsive Design

Patrick Collins, SVP, Customer Experience, Merkle, is telling you that your brand should not stop at just Responsive Design.  Responsive Design is all about creating the ideal customer experience, but also adding on site optimization will help improve any opportunities for conversion.  In his "Improved Customer Experience Doesn't End At Responsive Design" article on Advertising Age, he also examines a world-famous theme park's journey beyond Responsive Design. 

Improved Customer Experience Doesn't End At Responsive Design

Sponsor Post: What Should be on Your To-Do List
Published on February 25, 2014

Responsive design has hit the mainstream. By now, brands like 1-800 CONTACTS, Samsung, and Microsoft have all made their websites at least partially responsive. Many marketers are leading the shift to a single site approach in an effort to create a more consistent web experience for consumers -- while technology teams benefit from the more manageable web presence. Despite the success of early adopters, a number of brands still have questions, which are most often related to site speed.

Increasing site speed is a non-trivial challenge, and marketing teams bear the impact of the positive or negative results — directly on the bottom line. If you don't know how fast your site loads on a desktop, tablet and smartphone device, you should. We have all heard the statistics; according to Aberdeen Group one second more in load time means 7% fewer conversions, 11% fewer page views and a 16% decrease in overall customer satisfaction. Done poorly, responsive design can slow down a mobile web experience. But it doesn't have to be that way.

The first responsive site to garner attention was bostonglobe.com. As the first in a number of media sites to go responsive, context and screen width were irrelevant to the content a visitor consumed. By their nature, these sites led to the idea that responsive design meant layouts couldn't be tailored to a device, and all content had to be delivered on mobile. This created slow, unoptimized site experiences. Today, we know that if your site is optimized for responsive, load time on a mobile device can actually be lower than that of an unoptimized desktop site, and potentially the same as an mDot site.

There are two different ways one can approach responsive design: rebuild from the ground up, or transform an existing site to become responsive. A complete rebuild allows one to create clean, optimized code while relying on the latest standards in responsive design site creation. Transforming an existing site to be responsive makes responsive design quickly achievable through the use of a powerful JavaScript library. The typical transformation takes between seven and fourteen weeks and will involve very few code changes to the current site. This is a significant time savings compared to an extensive, year-long site rebuild, but it doesn't allow you to start from clean optimized site code like a full rebuild does. Instead, optimization of the legacy website code typically comes in a second phase. In both responsive approaches, server-side optimization will yield a faster website and improved customer experience.

To read the full article on Advertising Age, click here.

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