We asked Customer Experience experts the following question regarding their Mobile First strategies, and they were kind enough to share their insights with us:

How do you go about adopting a mobile first strategy?

CHIEF CUSTOMER

Customer Experience Officer,
Ingrid C. Lindberg

Stevie Awards – Maverick of the Year & Best New Product or Service of the Year

I was recently at a firm where we needed to do a complete overhaul of our digital properties. It was a no brainer for us to build on a mobile enabled platform. What I’ve found interesting as I work across industries is that not everyone does everything on their mobile. So many people do their “home-work” from their laptops in the office, or over Saturday morning coffee at their old desktop! It is amazing when you actually take the time to not only see, but to watch how your customers interface with your company. The key is not to build mobile at the expense of the other channels.

CROWE HORWATH LLP

Associate Director, Client Experience,
Michelle Morris Freet

We have not seen a big push in our industry towards mobile, yet. So we haven’t had to confront it as urgently as other companies. But we have had a strategic team designing the mobile strategy for Crowe to deliver to our clients. One area where we can better serve our clients is through providing quick and easy access of information to our partners and relationship managers enabling them to have the knowledge of the firm at their fingertips.

LENOVO

Executive Director, Lenovo.com Global Usability & Customer Experience,
Rick Medeiros

We were the first in the PC industry and maybe a leader compared to other major brands of fully implementing a Responsive Web Design. We decided that a 3rd party mobile platform was cost prohibitive for the 160 countries we serve and that RWD was going to relay the brand attitude and design much more appropriately. As we launched RWD it was not smooth sailing. We needed to transform the mindset internally to thinking not only about desktop designs and user experiences but to think of all screens in our usability. Now, mobile is equally thought of in all things we do even from a reach and campaign standpoint.

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP

Chief Marketing Officer,
Gina Collins

Mobile has created an interesting dynamic where fans are connecting in real time, so our focus is on allowing consumers to engage with the brand wherever and whenever they want. We also look at mobile as an extension of the brand and have created apps to accompany some of our products to extend play. For example, our new Promise Pets line has an accompanying app that helps kids learn about responsible pet ownership in an engaging way.

TELUS

Director, Digital Customer Experience,
Tim Hassed

We rebuilt our site 2.5 years ago and one of the guiding principles was mobile first. Everything we thought about, from content to functionality, was designed to work on mobile. This had a fantastic effect of driving simplicity in the experience and eliminating unnecessary content. Our growth in mobile traffic has increased five fold.

TRADEKING

Director, Client Experience,
Karen Kerley

Our newest trading site, TradeKing LIVE, is responsive. And, our goal is to create one site and one experience across all devices. That’s a first for us – particularly as a data-heavy trading platform. We tackled early responsive designs by first designing for desktop and then translating that design to mobile. Because market data is extremely important to many of our active traders, we’ve had to maintain a lazar-sharp focus on desktop interfaces. So, right now our approach is still lead with desktop and scale down to mobile. We’ve really just started our journey towards mobile-first design.

ICW GROUP

Customer Experience Strategist,
Carol Buehrens
  • The way we approached it was that we educated ourselves in this area several years ago, in preparation to convert our largest corporate website. We needed to understand the mobile lifestyle of our customers and what they wanted to access on our sites from their mobile devices. We decided on responsive technology, where a single site responds and adapts to the various sized screens. Then, we hired the right individuals to help us deliver the concept. We designed the mobile phone offering and then continued to the designs for tablets and then to the larger screens.
  • From our experience, we found that before we could employ a mobile first strategy, we had to first have everyone agree to adopt an attitude of de-cluttering. This can be a political nightmare, as everyone wants their information on the front page. Once you’ve arrived at this streamlined offering for mobile, it’s much easier to adapt the site to the various sizes.
  • Presently, we’re converting all of our sites into responsive technology, designing the mobile offering first. We are also reexamining our customer’s mobile lifestyle, since it has progressed so quickly over the last few years. Access of our sites through mobile has increased by approximately 30%.

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