It Starts With Knowing The Difference Between Mobile Responsive, Mobile Friendly and Mobile First Design
By Scott Harrison, Director of Creative Services
When was the last time you reviewed your center’s website on a mobile device? There’s no doubt that we’re living in a mobile world. In 2018, 70% of shoppers used touchscreen devices to consume retail content along their path to purchase – and roughly two-thirds of those said they were more likely to buy from companies whose mobile websites or apps helped them easily find answers to their questions.1
Many shopping centers have responded by ensuring their websites are “mobile responsive” – providing shoppers with a consistent user experience across all digital touchpoints. Unfortunately, for many companies, the emphasis on mobile ends there. The focus remains on the desktop experience, with an assumption that the responsive design will scale elegantly across all other devices. This, however, doesn’t always prove to be the case.
Mobile responsive design doesn’t always mean mobile friendly.
The desktop user experience doesn’t always translate well across other digital devices. Those big, beautiful landscape images that take up the top third of the web page may only occupy a relative fraction on a mobile device. The delightful animated buttons that engage desktop users may prove to be largely ineffective on touchscreen devices. That engaging video loop greeting users on your homepage may bog down load times on mobile devices, ultimately increasing bounce rates.
Mobile users tend to care more about quick and intuitive access to information than many of the bells and whistles associated with desktop websites - and for mobile shoppers this is especially true
Now more than ever, it’s important to think mobile first when designing a website for your shopping center. That simply means starting with the mobile version of your website and then expanding the features to create the tablet and desktop versions.
Search for a partner experienced in developing mobile first designs. Pull out your phone and check out their work. Is the branding, content, and visual aesthetic consistent with the desktop? Is the user experience intuitive and easy to navigate? Ask your potential partner about their design process. If you have other questions, always ask them — a good partner will never turn away your questions or give you vague answers.
And, remember - the best (and easiest) way to ensure your new website is built with “mobile first” in mind is to review it on your phone.