mobile Programming

ModevUX: Turning the Ship Overnight: A Responsive Retrofit at an Enterprise Scale

responsive design
Credit: Wikimedia

Talk from Capital One on moving their 2,500 page site to be mobile optimised.

My Takeaway

They drove mobile traffic up from 4%, to 40% in a year. My main shock here was that anyone was seeing mobile traffic as low as 4% in mid-2013. Given general internet trends, mobile traffic much below 40% is a sign you are doing it wrong.


2,500 pages, 4,000 different types. No templates.

0.5 billion page views per month, 30-40 million hits.

Before April 2013, mobile traffic was less than 4%. Now, over 40%.

Knew they could do more quickly, with less effort. Wanted to do something new, and be ahead of the curve.


  • Better UX.
  • Content parity.
  • Single code/content.
  • Cheaper – one version.

Users: mobile users demanding. 96% of mobile traffic was hitting “view full site”.

2010 did a re-platforming. Reviewed inventories, UI patterns. Consistency was really bad. Opportunity to focus on incremental change, using a component model.

Thinking about scalability, 3-5 steps ahead.

Defining a design system. See PatternLab.

Defined content modules, and content components. Made up of elements – turn them on and off, make them scalable.

Result: Had basically already built responsive components.

Main big menu, got lots of use, but terrible on mobile.

Lots of tabular data.

Product details, lots of content. Mountain of information.

Think content first, what’s your content strategy?

Launch was one small step, keep learning. Went back to customer data.

Saw a lot of success, people starting to take mobile responsive seriously.

Some pitfalls:

  • Large org = large process.
  • Takes a lot of research.
  • Collaborative design, want users involved.

Success is infectious:

  • Mobile traffic went from 4 to 40%.
  • Mobile login up 3x.
  • Mobile consumption up 5x.
  • Repeat mobile visits up 10x.
  • Page views up 42%.
  • Mobile conversion up 8%.
  • Tablet conversion up 17%.


9 people. 1 UI Engineer, 2 designers, 1 product owner, testers etc.

Made it to top 10 list of responsive sites worldwide.

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