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What Are The Secrets to Delivering ROI with Responsive Design?

Patrick Collins, SVP of the Customer Experience Group at Merkle and, shares his insight on the best methods to capitalize on ROI with Responsive Design.  The process of Responsive Design has already been proven to deliver a more optimal customer experience on mobile and tablet, but here are 6 ways to further increase the rate of ROI. 

Responsive Design is coming into its own, and that means learning lessons from the early adopters. Many brands have transitioned to a single site approach to manage its desktop, tablet, and smartphone experiences. Brands such as 1-800 CONTACTS, Seventh Generation, and Disney made the switch to responsive design because of the benefits of SEO, social linking, unified web teams, and the ability to enable omni-channel.

We have all heard these benefits before, but brands have still struggled in understanding how to effectively achieve them. After a couple years of responsive design implementations, we can tell you about the coveted secrets.

Users want the full site

Mobile experts have been saying the opposite of this for many years, but that's just it, it was many years ago. Today's consumer is different. According to a Pew Survey conducted in 2013, 21 percent of people use their mobile as their primary device. Don't assume you know what the user is looking for, or that mobile is on the go. Your mobile site should "feel" meaningfully similar to your desktop site and have the same level of content. It's simply a matter of prioritizing content and optimizing layout. Concern of more content creating a slower site is something to be considered, but our experience has shown that a well-done, full-featured site on a mobile device converts at a higher rate than a pared-down mDot site that is slightly faster.

Speed is critical to ROI

Set page load speed goals, such as getting the site to load in under four seconds on iPad. Experienced developers and designers will make the biggest impact to your project. There are a number of tools and work methodologies that will insure you are designing and developing for speed. Image optimization, lazy-loading, gzipping, and maximizing use of CSS over JavaScript when possible will all create a faster site.

Responsive design requires process change

The organization must adapt to mobile first design. Instead of focusing on pixels, focus on the percentage and the fluidity of the website. This means designers should be using tools like Axure instead of Photoshop for design prototypes. Force the content prioritization discussion with stakeholders. Ask yourself: If it doesn't belong on mobile, then does it really belong on your site at all? Many newly built sites are doing this well and creating a seamless user experience. See www.disney.com for a good example of a content-heavy site that has effectively minimized where possible and in turn, improved the user experience.

For more tips on delivering ROI with Responsive Design, view the full article on iMedia Connection's website here.

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