Responsive design, like any new technology or technique, does not necessarily increase conversion.
This is because when practicing Web optimization, you are not simply optimizing a design; you are optimizing a customer’s thought sequence. In this experiment, we discovered the impact responsive design has on friction experienced by the customer.
Background: A large news media organization trying to determine whether it should invest in responsive mobile design.
Goal: To increase free trial signups.
Research Question: Which design will generate the highest rate of free trial sign-ups across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms: responsive or unresponsive?
Test Design: A/B multifactorial split test
The Control: Unresponsive design
During an initial analysis of the control page, the MECLABS research team hypothesized that by testing a static page versus an overlay for the free trial, they would learn if visitors were more motivated with a static page as there is no clutter in the background that might cause distraction.
From this, the team also theorized that utilizing a responsive design would increase conversion as the continuity of a user-friendly experience would improve the customer experience across multiple devices.
The design for the control included a background image.
The Treatment: Responsive design
In the treatment, the team removed the background image to reduce distraction and implemented a responsive design to enhance user experience across all devices.