Mobile-First Web Design: Why You Should Make it a Priority?
Today, over 75% of baby boomers use mobile phones for accessing over 65% of the web. According to a survey, 35% of users reported that they prefer using personalized apps and websites, while over 60% of users prefer to receive personalized messages based on their previous purchases or actions.
The increase in demand for personalized apps, websites, and people’s preference for accessing their favorite businesses via mobile phones makes it important that businesses choose a mobile-first approach.
A website that is designed to perform well on mobile phones will perform on any other device as well. To strategize your mobile-first design, you can think of designing for the smallest screen size and then work your way to the top.
Mobile-first design persuades you to utilize your space more wisely, making it easier to fit every element in the right spot. With the mobile-first design, you can ensure that you keep only the valuable content and trim off any unwanted or unnecessary text that doesn’t bring any value to the readers. When it comes to mobile-first design, you have only so much power to add meaningless text over and over because the phone view has constraints.
Often, people confuse mobile-first design with responsive web design. So how do we differentiate between the two?
Mobile-first design and responsive web design are aimed at making your websites accessible via any device. However, responsive web design is more of a reactive approach, which makes it different from mobile-first design. When it comes to responsive web design, web designers create the website first and then work on making it accessible across all devices.
On the technical front, all the design decisions (such as font size, forms, media elements, carousels, buttons, navigation, white space, and others) are made for the desktop (later, they move on to devices with smaller screens). The decision-making is followed by developers working on fitting this design for smaller screens.
For content-heavy websites, responsive web design is a great option as it factors in technical SEO services. So it is great for your website from the SEO standpoint as well.
In the mobile-first approach, the designers put all these design decisions into play considering mobile devices and then work their way up to devices with bigger screens. This is what we call progressive enhancement. When it comes to the progressive enhancement concept, websites are designed for smaller devices first and then adjusted to fit bigger screens.
And the other concept is graceful degradation, which is responsive web design. Here, you need to build all the designs from the beginning, and then shrink, refactor, and rearrange your design for smaller devices.
But you need to understand that while these are two different concepts, mobile-first design is one of the rules of progressive advancement. In mobile-first design, the designers start designing the product from the mobile and then move on to expand its features for bigger devices.
The concept of mobile-first design is an important part of product design. Why?
- Since 2016, mobile internet usage has grown in comparison to desktop usage.
- People spend more time on the web via mobile phones.
- Almost a decade ago, smartphone sales surpassed desktop sales.
- Businesses are experiencing an increase in customer engagement via mobile devices.
- Mobile devices help in opening new revenue channels.
- You can gain vital data insights via mobile devices.
- Businesses can offer more satisfactory customer service via mobile devices.
- On average, smartphone users spend over three hours on their phones.
- Millennials tend to spend over five hours on their smartphones in a day.
Thanks to the wide choice of smartphone devices (over 9,000) on the market.
The above statistics show how people have been gradually switching over to mobile devices. This makes it crucial that web designers factor in the mobile-first concept when proceeding with product design.
The present landscape demands mobile-first design be implemented as part of the product design cycle. When compared with desktop users, the number of mobile users has grown to over 56%.
Approach mobile-first design as the need of the hour and not a trend of the future. Statistics reveal that the number of people using smartphones across the globe accounts for 4 billion. And out of this population, 48% of the web page views are accounted for by mobile devices across the globe. Around 97% of Americans pay for the highest mobile broadband subscription services a year. This brings us back to the fact that most people are going to access your site via mobile devices only.
While responsive web design might be a great option for content-heavy websites, you need to consider the fact that a greater number of people prefer to use mobile devices for viewing websites these days, when designing your websites.
About Seattle New Media
Seattle New Media is a website design and development agency based out of Seattle. We offer all kinds of web designs, including mobile-first, responsive web designs.
For a consultation, contact us today.