Thinking user-first – and mobile-first – to create an inviting experience

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How do you improve an already award-winning website? Focus on creating a data-driven, user-first experience!

For the Explore St. Louis redesign project, this meant approaching the site redesign from a mobile-first perspective. The Explore St. Louis website already had a lot of personality, great content, clear user-flows and colorful imagery.

But only users on desktop or laptop computers could experience the site in its full splendor. Mobile traffic was redirected to the once-cutting-edge separate mobile site built in 2011 (and redesigned in 2013), which lacked much of the content and functionality enjoyed by desktop users. Rule number one at a web development company is that the Internet is always changing – and fast. Mobile internet use has only been growing, so the Explore St. Louis team took the leap towards creating a better mobile experience.

We already knew that about half of the site's visitors were on their phones and tablets, but how were they using the site? What were they looking for? We wanted to create a design centered around planning and experiencing a trip to St. Louis.

Integrity is no stranger to mobile-first design and development. In fact, we believe it's the most successful approach to building a website. So our user experience experts dove right in, and turned to the data. We reviewed vacation planning trends, looked at user flows on the current site and analyzed the content. After careful research and planning, we architected a solution that prioritizes the planning and experiencing phases of travel.

The updated website provides an elegant, content-rich experience for users on desktop and on mobile devices. It captures the spirit of St. Louis with vivid imagery, easy-to-identify icons and a mega menu to showcase content. Mobile users have a unique layering menu to create a mobile-friendly view of the same content desktop users see in the mega menu. In addition to providing a wealth of content resources for mobile travelers that weren't previously kept at hand, we improved the attractions listings and filtering with more options for mobile users and a collapsible set of filters to reduce clutter on small screens.

"We love St. Louis, so we're proud to work with Explore St. Louis to capture the essence of our fair city with an amazing user experience," said Ed Morrissey, Integrity Partner and Chief Creative Officer.

"Like our amazing city, Explore St. Louis is a world-class organization," said Libby King, Project Lead and Content Strategist at Integrity, "and we are honored to continue supporting the elevation of their overall digital strategy."

If you love St. Louis, or just an awesome user experience, check out the new website on your mobile device!

Are your mobile visitors missing something? Let our team build an amazing user-first experience for you. Contact us today.

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