Volvo mobile first


Volvo cars is the global site for Volvo.  Our brief was to develop a mobile-first set of design principles to adhere to.


I identified consumer needs and existing pain points within the consumer journey, allowing us to form strategic recommendations weighted by value to the business and the customer set out in a roadmap for 2016. The project consisted of four phases;

  1. Mobile strategy: Insights and Principles

  2. Volvo cars UX reviews

  3. Mobile user journeys

  4. Mobile-first recommendations


The research covered both generic mobile behavioural trends along with website analytics and industry insight from Psyma and J.D Power Automotive Mobile Site review.

From this I documented mobile usage, visitor statistics (consumer profiles, phone set up and journeys) and consumer expectations. This meant we had a clear understand of the needs and behaviours of our consumers.


I also documented two different approaches to Mobile first web design: Responsive or Adaptive.  This was important to raise as it would significantly affect the subsequent approach to development in future.


To help the client understand our principles, I documented some examples of mobile best practice in the areas of

  • Navigation

  • Content

  • Data entry and forms

  • Consistency and transitioning between devices

  • Optimising for mobile: gestures, page load and assets

I was then able to effectively communicate the following mobile design principles to our clients;

1. Design for context of use

Optimised for mobile; we should account for screen size, gestures, ergonomics and consumers being on the move.

2. Streamlined but not lacking

Enhance page layout for mobile viewing without compromising on the quality or volume of content. Be clear and concise so the user can easily move around.

3. Easy to consume

Apply the human element into our design thinking.  Ensure content can be consumed both physically and cognitively, whilst telling an emotive story.

4. Designed for consumer needs

Make the primary purpose of the site visit easily achievable with clear CTA’s that are accessible at the appropriate times.

5. Provide clarity

Ensure there is no ambiguity about how to navigate the site, help the user orientate themselves at all times.

6. Make it transferrable

Allow the user to seamlessly move between devices to continue their task. Use common language and consistent cues across desktop and mobile.

7. Exploit what is available 

Utilise new mobile technology to connect with buyers and owners in new ways.


Together with Max Cescau a Senior User Experience Architect, we completed a mobile site audit and documented the key areas of opportunity for Volvo Cars.

The audit included a review of multiple locales, devices and operating systems.  We also completed a high level competitor review and conducted load tests across key pages.


When researching a car, consumers do not differentiate the purpose and use of mobile vs desktop, however the context of use may differ.

A smartphone is always accessible, convenient and perceived as a time filler therefore is more likely to be used on the go and for shorter periods of time.

I looked at all four key stages of the consumer journey within the context of mobile to provide a set of recommended improvements.



Traditionally automotive has approached the purchase cycle in a linear way, presenting information online much like a digital brochure experience.

Mobile has changed the way users are consuming content, converting to purchase is no longer a linear process.

As a result, I recommended the mobile experience to be interactive, easy to engage with and allow our users to move through multiple phases of the purchase cycle within one page or experience.



Using the key insight, site observations and best practice, I was able to provide the following prioritised mobile recommendations:

  1. Make the site navigation more visible and user friendly

  2. Reduce the page load

  3. Make all forms quick and easy to complete

  4. Reduce page scroll for primary content pages

  5. Optimise the existing page modules for mobile

  6. Redesign content heavy pages (e.g. complex tables and specifications) for mobile


For the mobile navigation, I was able to provide recommended interface design which then went into prototyping and user testing:

Polly Thompson