Thinking through what goes into a mobile website
C. R. Bard, which has been developing innovative medical devices that has met the needs of healthcare professionals and patients for more than 100 years, recently worked with iMedia to create a corporate website that focused on specific user groups. But a second phase was required to optimize the site for handheld devices. A significant planning initiative was needed to create a mobile instance that would capture the essence of the full website, yet still be usable on the smaller screen.
iMedia utilized its mobile design methodology to architect the new mobile friendly site. This methodology entailed evaluating and prioritizing content and navigation in regard to the functionality that is most relevant to the mobile user. Once this was complete, iMedia evaluated how to transition the experience to best leverage the capabilities of the mobile device. The design was rendered in a format that was quick to load and easy to touch to click.
Site functionality was redesigned to fit the mobile screen and to make input for the user simple and straight forward. And, of course, the website provided automatic detection of mobile device to serve the correct version of the site.
Having recently worked on a comprehensive redesign and reorganization of the website, iMedia was well positioned to help C. R. Bard strategize exactly how to evaluate and optimize its offerings into mobile form.
The homepage was redesigned comprehensively. The regular site homepage includes a special cover flow marquee feature that highlights the specific target user groups. This experience could not be brought over in its current form to the mobile site, so iMedia designed a simples rotating marquee to take its place.
Navigation changed significantly as well. In the web instance, the site is divided into two main sections: audience-based navigation and company-based navigation. These were brought into one main navigation scheme on the current site, and some major sections, such as Patients, Media, and Social Responsibility, were either subsumed into other sections or dropped entirely, as they were judged as not critical to mobile users. Of course, navigation was simplified and made touch friendly with large color-coded bars to aid recognition.
Certain secondary content from the homepage was deemed too important to lose, and links to the Product Submission Form as well as the Product catalog were retained on the mobile site. The investor stock quote application also appears as a constant element throughout the site. But the recent headlines and company descriptor that appear on the website version were dropped from the mobile home screen.
Navigation within most of the main sections was considerably simplified as well. A good example is Healthcare Professionals, which on the website includes eleven content links, but on the mobile section only four. Where the main site jumps from page to page, the mobile site uses an expand/contract feature to drill down for more information. This means users never navigate away from the main content pages.
The mobile site includes the password-protected employee portal, which was considered an important component of the site. This gives employees the ability to access the tools they use in their everyday activities from their mobile devices even while they are on the road and away from their desks.
Like the main site, the mobile site was programmed using the Ektron content management solution. Once site editors have logged into the CMS, they can edit, update, and manage both web and mobile site instances from the same work area.
The mobile version gives employees, investors, job seekers and health professionals a way to access important information about BARD from their mobile devices. The streamlined content speaks directly to what’s important to a user who may be “on the road” in a highly usable mobile format.