Designing and implementing a ‘Mobile First’ strategy should really be a given. If any asset manager isn’t taking the steps to consider their mobile users, then there will be penalties for their digital brand footprint, either from a drop in user engagement or penalties from an SEO indexing perspective.

Building an achievable ‘Mobile First’ strategy comes down to a number of key actionable tactics, as well as benchmarking against the business goals and UX functionality that serves your users. Use this as a method for prioritising the website experience for mobile.

Mobile First is a design strategy that says when you build a website experience, you should start prototyping from the smallest screen first and work your way up to larger screens. Essentially, it’s about delivering the right user experience to the right device; responsive design should start from the smallest UI experience upwards.

The reason that this makes sense in terms of process is because with such limited space on small screens, designers must prioritize the most important functionality and components of their website, namely content. For asset managers, that’s typically fund data and documents wrapped within insight content, driving the conversation to conversion.

Identifying the key UX components that will be challenged by a smaller screen size is an extensive exercise. You must audit the assets and address them in priority order to ensure the experience is frictionless.

Mobile First UX also needs to take into consideration why the user is on their mobile. Are they travelling? Do they need access to data, documents and content outside of normal desktop working hours? etc. Typically, we see asset managers address these UX components as the key areas for deep analysis and validation when building out a mobile design system:

  1. Investor modal – identify the user type and drive their unique experience
  2. Navigation – the ease of use on mobile is paramount, so you may choose to suppress more complex sections of your website navigation (mega menus for example)
  3. Fund Centre – identify the key tasks you want the user to be able to complete; find a fund, a factsheet, daily NAV etc
  4. Literature – make downloading or viewing docs seamless
  5. Insights – consider how filtering or taxonomy will help users find their specific points of interest quickly
  6. Call to actions – whether its an enquiry or proactively gating content to profile users through marketing automation, your call to actions on mobile need to be shorter and more compressed than they are on desktop

When you are building out your Mobile First UX, the approach should come down to six key actionable tactics:

  1. Review your current user device statistics for both your own website and wider industry metrics. This will validate the potential need to move quickly, and learnings from your analytics can be applied to the holistic UX.
  2. Establish a UX strategy of what your user types want to do when they are on a mobile device, and how simplistic that experience needs to be.
  3. Consider which parts of the desktop experience may need to be suppressed to enable the mobile experience to work efficiently.
  4. Analyse your current content strategy – does it provide the framework for mobile-style content?
  5. Identify the technology parameters you will need to work within when executing the mobile UX strategy into your Content Management System.
  6. Consider Google, as it makes mobile indexing one of its primary focuses. Look at Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project as this will come to the forefront of search in the future. Make sure to serve structured mark-up for both the desktop and mobile version. You can find the tool here to see what AMP means for Google:

In short, simplify the UX experience, create a defined strategy, and create frictionless mobile browsing that provides well signposted choices leading to mobile optimised content and data experiences.

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Richard Watts

Global Head of Digital at Kurtosys
Rich Watts oversees global digital strategy, design & UX, WordPress platform delivery & product development at Kurtosys. With over 20 years proven experience in digital strategy and delivery, largely focused within financial service sector and specifically within asset & wealth management, insurance and crowdfunding.

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