Mobile-First Web Design: Expert Advice from Roberta Muller

Responsive website design that allows your editorial content and ads to scale across different screen sizes? Check. A mobile-first strategy that responds to the demands of our ever-shifting media markets? Check. But what about better engagement, more market share and sustainable growth?

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SVP Roberta Muller shares her insights with us and busts some myths on mobile-first web design.

We interviewed expert Roberta Muller, SVP of Product Development for Northstar Media, for some practical advice for niche publishers on adopting a digital strategy for long-term success.

NMHQ: Before diving in headfirst into website re-design, what are some good guidelines for niche publishers to adopt when creating a mobile-first strategy?

RM:

“With 51% of today’s internet usage coming from mobile and nearly two thirds of Americans having smartphones, it’s impossible to not think ‘mobile-first.’ There are three key components to mobile.  You must have an audience strategy, content strategy and platform strategy. If you focus first on your audience and content, the platform choice (e.g. mobile website, native app, etc.) will reveal itself.” 

NMHQ: Can you give us some real world examples of re-designs that didn’t work out as planned and why?

RM:

“Honestly, the mobile products that we launched which were a disappointment stemmed from running head first into design. The glorious look and feel of a website in its mobile format had the business team excited. We were focused on how each screen looked in its smallest view port. The audience and content fell to the wayside, which lead to many lessons learned.” 

NMHQ: What are some ways that publishers can better engage and gain more market share with their mobile-first platforms?

RM:

“In between your mobile website and audience sits social media. Any time you can bridge the gap between the two, using social applications or technologies like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest, it is a great opportunity to drive engagement, capture audience and gain market share.”

NMHQ: What trends do you see coming for publishers in the multi-screen world?

“We need to account for the fact that our audience consumes data on multiple screens. I read somewhere that ‘9 out of 10 people move between devices to accomplish a goal.’”   

Although localization is not new, I think it’s important. As a media company, we need to find ways to take advantage of providing our audience with the right content, at the right time, based on where they are located. In addition, we need to use location data to target ad campaigns to the most relevant person more accurately. Another key area is device targeting based on audience behavior and improving our ability to extend our reach of desktop campaigns onto mobile campaigns through behavior. Experimenting with micro-videos would also be fun.”

Editor’s note: Want to learn more? Roberta will be leading the session, Busting the Myths of Mobile-First Web Design at the Niche Digital Conference in Savannah this fall. Join us!

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More about Roberta:  As Senior Vice President of Product Development, Roberta Muller leads Northstars Digital Media team for ad production, audience development, and project and product management. She keeps the company on the cutting edge of digital initiatives, recently taking on the implementation of Northstar’s Marketing Services most complex client projects. Roberta is now moving into the role of Chairperson of the Digital Media Council at ABM and looks forward to collaborating with b2b industry peers on challenges, hot topics and vision.

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1 thought on “Mobile-First Web Design: Expert Advice from Roberta Muller

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      Great tips so thanks for sharing this tips with us that “Honestly, the mobile products that we launched which were a disappointment stemmed from running head first into design. The glorious look and feel of a website in its mobile format had the business team excited. We were focused on how each screen looked in its smallest view port. The audience and content fell to the wayside, which lead to many lessons learned.”

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