Old Navy, CP+B Embrace 'Mobile First' For Black Friday

Old Navy and its agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky presented a case study looking at their work in developing retailer’s site for Black Friday this year. Call it a case study in progress. Old Navy and CP+B took adopted the “mobile first” approach to building the company’s Black Friday presence online. That decision stemmed from Old Navy seeing 17% of its Black Friday traffic last year coming from mobile and the broader forecast that most sites will get most of their traffic from mobile by 2014.

Old Navy expects its typical customer, dubbed “Jenny,” will be a majority mobile Web user in six months to a year. With that in mind, CP+B started the project by creating a wireframe for the mobile site, laying out the information architecture and higherarchy.

Angel Anderson, experience director at CP+B, said the next step, which is a newer technique, involved the agency’s visual designers creating “style tiles” for the mobile site, which she described as the digital equivalent of fabric swatches for interior design. The tiles help to establish the tone and personality of the site, whether athorative or friendly, for example.

After that, the agency moved on to creating the visual design for desktop site for Old Navy’s Black Friday promotion, which were guided by the prior design work done for mobile. Following that comes the user experience design and the actual development of prototypes.

Underlying that process are three key considerations: overall strategy, user goals and content. Anderson also stressed that the smaller screen of a mobile device doesn’t dictate creating a stripped-down version of the desktop site. “People don’t want to do less with a smaller screen,” she said. So the mobile experience should be as rich as on the PC, especially when it comes to creating a shopping site.

You can see the results later this month when Old Navy's Black Friday effort launches.

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