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The Knot says ‘I do’ to responsive design

March 6, 2015 11:25 AM
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The Knot refuses to leave its mobile brides at the altar.

Media company XO Group Inc., No. 534 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Second 500 Guide, on March 3 launched a redesigned TheKnot.com that renders optimally on smartphones. The site uses responsive design principles, which allow for a single website to adjust to the size of the viewer’s screen, all from one code base and one set of web content.

More than half—51%—of visitors to TheKnot.com come via a smartphone, and that doesn’t include consumers who visit The Knot’s app.

“It’s a millennial audience, and they are mobile first,” says Chris Steib, vice president of product at The Knot. Consumers born between 1980 and 1999 are generally considered members of the millennial generation.

The previous site served its mobile audience well enough to grow smartphone traffic each month, Steib says, but he knew three years down the line the old site would need a redesign, as  traffic was trending heavily in the mobile direction.

Because smartphone screens are smaller than desktop and tablet screens, The Knot had to limit what would appear on the screen to make sure text and images were large enough for visitors. “It enforces a certain type of discipline for good product and design,” Steib says.

For example, so as not to clutter a page, instead of having calls to action, like a purchase button, on the initial search results page, those buttons appear only once the shopper clicks on an item.

One of The Knot’s main functionalities—and sources of revenue—is linking brides with any of the 250,000 listed wedding vendors on the website, such as florists and caterers. The new site largely displays a vendor’s preferred picture, and after brides tap on the vendor, they can tap to favorite it or directly contact the vendor. Favorites will go into a separate tab so brides can review all the choices later.

Using a smartphone’s location, The Knot immediately can display local vendors to the shopper. For example, if a bride clicks on a dress she likes, The Knot would then display bridal salons within 5-10 miles of her location where she can find that specific dress.

Steib also is excited about the tracking the new website can provide in terms of analytics and reporting. For example, Steib can now learn if a bride goes through a search, lands on a page and leaves quickly or doesn’t contact any vendors. With the built-in reporting for TheKnot.com, Steib can go back and see why the page wasn’t fulfilling a bride’s needs and make adjustments.

The redesign was done in-house over 11 months, and The Knot would not say what it cost.

Follow mobile business journalist April Dahlquist, associate editor, mobile, at Internet Retailer, at @MobileInsiderAD.

 

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