Responsive Design was in the hotseat at Mobile Commerce Summit yesterday with Marriott’s Jim Abramson and Yum! Restaurants’ Sunil Patel sharing their insights. Here are the 6 questions that really struck a chord with the audience:
1) What drives a choice to build a responsive design mobile site?
For both Marriott and Yum! it became very cost prohibitive to have two code bases and to implement and test new features on both. Responsive design ensures that features and content are implemented once and available across all devices.
2) Does the entire site need to be responsive or can you do it in parts?
You have to do it in parts. Marriott realized they needed to do a content audit and identify the highest priority areas of the site for responsive, the areas that could be responsive and the areas that could be retired.
3) What did you learn about implementing the responsive design project?
Images are a big deal – legacy images may not be scalable and you will need to audit your image library to ensure the images are responsive. Additionally, the header and footer are a tough item to navigate because no one owns them yet everyone cares – especially when you have to decide what navigation disappears in the smaller devices “response”.
Both Jim and Sunil learned that they needed people familiar with CSS3, HTML5 and analytics – and people who were experienced building transactional, e-commerce responsive sites.
4) How do you get internal support for a responsive design initiative?
It’s difficult because you invest a great deal of time and resources to have a result that doesn’t LOOK any different from what you had. It’s an investment towards supporting the future and being flexible for all the possible ways of interacting – like wearables, Google Glass or other things we cannot yet imagine.
5) What happens to the mobile team?
They become the mobile experts across the organization and integrate with every other team.
6) How do you make each experience relevant to the customer with responsive design?
This is the big problem. Once the site is responsive, you still need to create ways to deliver the right experience for the different use cases. In fact, its unlikely that responsive sites will perform better than dedicated mobile experiences until real-time data is driving the experience delivered to each visitor on each device and channel. And that’s a big challenge for 2014.
To learn more about mobile optimization, read our Responsive Experiences ebook.