How to Implement Mobile-First Design for Your Digital Communications

1/24/2019 Cynthia Bajana

How to Implement Mobile-First Design for Your Digital Communications

Seventy-seven percent of consumers own a smartphone, with many of these individuals plugged in at all times (Pew Research Center). As a result, the market has adapted, and new technologies have increased the number of channels through which consumers can receive their information. This number has grown exponentially, expanding beyond print, email, and fax to include digital wallets, smart assistants, transaction processors, and direct messaging.

As more people adopt these new options, many organizations are enhancing their digital strategies to better reach their customers.

For many organizations, the digital strategy consists of sending a monthly bill or statement as a downloadable PDF — without any additional engagement — leaving no real benefit to this digital copy. This is because the modern customer prefers to receive these documents in a form that they can interact with — from a simple reminder to pay a bill to note-taking to highlighting.

The real key to a successful digital strategy lies in the customer journey, coordinated with the digital channels that customers prefer. Here are three ways for organizations to accomplish an effective mobile-centric redesign.

1. Put the customer’s needs first

Since a successful mobile-centric design relies on building around the customer journey, it’s vital for an organization to first know their customer. Because no two industries are alike, companies need to have a strong understanding of whom they are talking to and what the digital and mobile habits of these individuals look like.

However, one feature is true across the board: Customers expect a personalized, interactive digital experience. Additionally, 42% of consumers get annoyed when their content isn’t personalized (CMO). To create a successful journey in mobile design, companies should ask themselves the following questions:

  • What do customers expect from this interaction?
  • What pain points can we help our customers solve?
  • What goals can this document help to accomplish?
  • What added benefit can these interactions provide?
  • What behavior or action should result from the customer interaction?

2. Highlight the most important information

The bottom line of any redesign should be rooted in an effort to improve the overall customer experience, and the purpose of the communication should be clear from the first screen (such as paying a monthly statement or addressing an update to an account).

Organizations should also aim to increase the ease of understanding of the information presented. This can be implemented by using brand-compliant font, colors, and graphics to help lead the eye to important items, such as amount due, billing dates, account information, and more.

Introducing a hierarchy of pertinent information through varying text sizes and thickness, as well as increase overall readability through the use of larger font and increased white space is also a best practice. This attention to detail will not only make it easier for customers to retain vital information but can maximize the benefits of the digital strategy, driving e-adoption rates and overall customer satisfaction.

3. Stick to a content structure

In order to elevate your communications into a full, multi-channel initiative, it’s vital for an organization to define its content structure, including layouts, content elements, and data.

The key to this approach is to identify the elements that can be shared across multiple forms of communication, maintaining consistency in the size and presentation of these elements. This will ensure that your communications are easy to follow, no matter which touchpoint your customers choose to interact with, ultimately, guaranteeing an increased flow in communications and a stronger relationship with consumers.

At the end of the day, these strategies are implemented with the customer’s needs in mind — so organizations should adapt to a mobile-centric design to continually meet their ever-changing expectations.

You might have to change how your company approaches communications. Think of design as a combined effort with print and web design, working as a compliment to mobile. Remember your client reading their bill on the subway — and think mobile first.

Cynthia Bajana serves as a Vice President of Sales for RRD’s Business Communications Solutions division.

Editor’s note: The original version of this article first appeared on Document Strategy, September 26, 2018.


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