From the statistics above provided by Wearesocial Digital Report 2018 clearly suggests that mobile users are a force to be reckoned with. The web has become a vastly different landscape over the last years. The huge amount of content on the web is increasingly being accessed through mobiles(mobile-first web design) or smartphones. A huge amount of traffic is coming from mobile devices. When a business develops a website it is based on the assumption that it will be accessed on computers or desktops. The website is first designed to support desktops and then support is added to tablets and smartphones. This strategy is desktop-first. The problem with this approach many components of such website adapts poorly to smartphones and tablets. An alternative approach is a mobile-first strategy. In this, developers design a website for the smallest device available and then scale upwards to adapt to computers and desktop. The decision to choose either of the strategies totally depends on the audience and people who will use the website. One just cannot ignore the mobile element of a website.
Using a Mobile-first strategy has many benefits –
1. Focus on core content – The content that is displayed on a user’s screen has to be clear, concise and easy to understand. When done correctly, the mobile-first approach positively affects the tablet and desktop versions of your site, resulting in a more clean and polished look. Since space is minimum the user must be able to find very quickly whatever they are looking for. In the desktop mode where you have empty space, you might tend to add more functions and content which might confuse users. So, with the mobile design, you are focussed to provide users with what they’re looking for.
2. Easy Navigation – While designing for mobiles, web developers usually add few items on the menu. The user has a better chance of navigating and getting to the intended destination. Drop-downs have been removed from many sites, and rightfully so. They tend to be problematic in a desktop environment, and do not translate to mobile devices due to the lack of a rollover function.
3. Increased Visibility and Reach – Due to the simplicity and ease of using the web on the smartphones, users tend to browse the web on phones rather than on the desktop. If the user experience on a website browsed on a mobile is satisfying, the user is likely to come back again and use the website regularly on the mobile device. It’s important for site owners to understand that if they do not optimize for mobile their relevance and reach will be diminished in both the eyes of the user and search engines alike.
4. Cost Effective and Valuable – In today’s mobile age, having a website with a mobile-first strategy is a requirement. An optimized experience will only enhance your opportunities of engaging with people and extend the reach of your product or service widely contributing to the revenue generated. Although higher budgetary resources are required, the cost-effectiveness of Mobile-first strategy is profitable in the longer run.
One can really appreciate the benefits of mobile-first designs with some examples –
YouTube – YouTube in 2017 had incorporated the Material Design approach which reflects the “desktop version is a subordinate of mobile version”. The blank for buttons and text display is to adapt to the user habit of small-screen touch mobile devices. The new night mode also shows its surrender to mobile devices. An attractive feature in design: Blank for button and text display, Night mode
Apple – The Apple mobile website has a very good content layout. So users do not need to use the navigation button but scroll down the page to access information, very easy and convenient. The shopping bag icon is usually necessary and clear for the user’s first glance for shopping. Furthermore, if no information wanted after browsing the page, you can search for the desired information in the bottom navigation.
An attractive feature in design: Convenient scroll navigation
Airbnb – Due to Card design, it is easier for users and information to connect with each other for a limited time. This is reflected in Google’s decision to use Card design. Other Internet companies such as Airbnb have gradually accepted and adopted this approach. Each card’s message is concise and effective and usually consists of a title, picture, graphic, or profile text. This design gives users enough information and makes it easy for them to decide if they want to go deeper and learn more.
An attractive feature in design: Card Design
So overall in today’s day and age, Mobile-first design approach is a beneficial one. You no longer have to worry about designing a website that caters specifically to your mobile users and your desktop users alike. Mobile-first web design gives you a one-size-fits-all model that’s optimized to fit the spatial constraints of mobile devices. Mobile devices play a huge role in influencing a website’s SEO rating. Escale Solutions has also followed a similar approach in their website development. With smartphones making up such a large portion of internet traffic without any indication of slowing down, opting for a mobile-first approach is an excellent way to ensure that everyone’s browsing needs are being met.