It is extremely rare to meet anyone these days who does not have a smartphone handy in their pocket or in their purse. Over the last five years, mobile phone use has overtaken desktop usage, as research by Statistamobile points out. Website traffic via mobile phones accounted for 54.8% of the total traffic in 2021. It is essential that you provide a seamless experience for mobile phone users who visit your website, whether they are just browsing, or they are seeking a service or information. It is extremely important to avoid any navigational kink or loading delay which could result in valuable customers making a bee-line to your competitors.
This article will explain what mobile-first design consists of, why it is important, and it will provide you with tips for starting your website’s mobile-first design project.
Mobile-First Design Lowdown
Back in 2010, many began paying attention to the mobile-first design concept. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google at that time, announced that the company’s designers would be focusing greater attention on the needs of smartphone users while he spoke at the Mobile World Congress. Schmidt noted that mobile would ultimately be the main way to provision most services so mobile-first should always be the major focus.
What Exactly is Mobile-First Design?
Mobile-First Designs create specific designs that are conducive to mobile phone screens, which are the smallest available screens. As a result, the designs are optimized for user experience on smartphones and provide the essential information and features that users desire.
Designers are forced by the small size screens to focus on what are the most important elements. After deciding on necessary content, more content and functionality layers could be added for desktops and tablets. Known as progressive enhancement, this approach, if used correctly, will always deliver the best version to a specific screen. You should avoid graceful degradation which is designing a flashy desktop website, then needing to strip away elements in order to fit it to a mobile screen, maybe losing functionality or your message in the process.
Ease of Access
When it is well planned, mobile-first ensures smooth user experiences, which means your website will consistently display correctly, without random text breaks or distorted images, regardless of the way in which it is accessed. Choosing the mobile-first method of design lets you build a firm foundation from which you could add on more features for tablet or desktop access.
Moreover, by utilizing mobile-first design, you will prioritize and focus your content with placement of key functionality and information at your design’s center. It will be easier for users to quickly access what they need.
Google’s algorithm today actually favours mobile devices since it ensures an excellent mobile experience. You will benefit from improved discoverability, as well as all-important higher conversion rates. One of the top ways to create a website that is mobile-friendly is to design it with mobile-first.
By creating a pleasant and smooth mobile experience, visitors will come back for more. Imagine how frustrating it is to encounter a problematic mobile site when you need to access something as soon as possible! That scenario sends visitors running elsewhere in frustration.