November 7, 2011, 9:24 AM

King Arthur Flour builds a single e-commerce site for multiple devices

At Internet Retailer’s design conference, Halley Silver will discuss the retailer’s approach.

Lead Photo

Halley Silver

Shoppers reach the web today from PCs, mobile phones and tablet computers—each with its own requirements for optimal content display. But King Arthur Flour didn’t want to build a web site or app for every device.  Instead, the bakeware and baking ingredient retailer this year created a single site friendly to a broad range of devices, an approach that director of online services Halley Silver will discuss as a featured speaker at the Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference 2012 in Orlando, FL in February.

“In 2011, King Arthur Flour embarked on a redesign of one of the major sections of our web site.  In this session, I will discuss why we embraced the concepts of building a responsive web site and designing for mobile devices first,” Silver says. “We’ll review our process, the results and the lessons learned.”

A redesign to accommodate a variety of computers was a response to the increasing amount of traffic coming to KingArthurFlour.com from mobile devices including tablets.  In September, 14% of the retailer’s traffic came from mobile devices, including 5% from tablets such as iPads and 9% from mobile phones. That’s a whopping increase from the 2% of traffic that arrived through mobile a year ago, Silver says.

As Silver will explain in the session, “The mobile-first approach to web multi-platform design,” one key element in the redesign site is the use of CSS3, the latest version of the  web design language cascading style sheets, which presents images and product information differently depending on the visitor's device and browser.

"Instead of building a KingArthurFlour.com site for the iPad and a separate one for an Android and a separate one for desktop users, this allows us to have a single site that we know will respond to whichever device users are using," Silver says.

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Silver to speak because of her extensive experience in web design and development. Before joining King Arthur Flour in 2007, she managed online development at several companies including the former Excite@Home and VeriSign. She also built and launched Hoofpicks.com, a free, web-based, equestrian-event management service.

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