Taking over all of the dell.com US mobile experience tomorrow
I am very excited to be a part of the release we are doing tomorrow. We have slowly been rolling out our new dell.com experience. We started with android devices. And have slowly been releasing to a new platform every few weeks. Tomorrow we are targeting our last device - Windows Mobile. And what a bear that has been? Why is MS always so hard?
Part of the reasoning behind our new platform is around building an easier to use experience. I think this new site has certainly attained that goal. I will show you a few of the new navigational experiences we are delivering.
As you can see on the old site’s home page, there is a more tightly packed cluttered feeling. This is not the best UI for poking my big meaty fingers at by any means. Notice the micro links at the top of the page. Also notice that there are two scroll bars meaning something is bigger than the screen of this device.
On the new experience we have strived to deliver a true responsive experience. This is generally a better approach when targeting mobile devices. There aren’t any actionable links on this page that I would have a hard time selecting with my fingers. This is largely due to the target sizes being bigger and that there is quite a bit more room between the actionable elements so that I don’t accidentally click something.
Much improved navigational experience
On the old experience it takes 4 clicks before you are able to locate something like “Laptop Deals”.
1) click Laptops and Tablets
2) click on Laptop Deals
3) which just displays the word Deals - so we click on Deals
4) click on Laptop Deals (careful not to accidentally click a neighboring link)
And finally we see some laptops!
In the new experience we get into product very quickly.
1) Click on Laptop Deals
See laptop deals. Amazingly simple!
The shopping cart is another example of the new experience. In the old cart you will notice quite a bit more clutter than is usually needed on a small screen.
Where as the new layout strives for a more simplified approach.
Aside from the mobile first UI, the underlying tech has been greatly improved as well. A couple of years back dell.com under went a “re-write” to make it more performant and easier to manage. Lets just say this didn’t go so well. Some of the pages on that re-write took minutes to load. This new site was designed around the fact that dell.com has a metric-butt-ton of traffic at various times of the year. We are targeting cloud capabilities. Highly read optimized. It is our goal for this new platform to serve that larger traffic without having to jump through any crazy exercises to get Dell through the holidays.
Some tech that the team built this on: NServiceBus, CQRS, ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, SQL Server, Angular, Bootstrap, and Windows based infrastructure. I will get into the more interesting details in another post.