What you need to know about mobile-first design
What is mobile-first design? Mobile-first design was outlined by Luke Wroblewski in 2009. Simply, mobile first is one way to approach responsive design. The idea is that you first design your site for smaller screens, subsequently, you then add content and features as screen size increases. Another phrase for this approach is “progressive enhancement.”
Why do I need mobile-first design? Recently, Google announced an update to their algorithms that would prioritise mobile-friendly sites in the rankings. It’s not hard to see why they have announced this change, there are 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide. In America, 25% of mobile Web users are mobile-only. In order to give their users the best experience, Google are serving up the most mobile-friendly sites in searches, if that search was made on a mobile phone.
So as companies build their website or are focused on a website redesign, a mobile-first approach can be very helpful from a design perspective. Rather than trying to scale down a desktop design and fit it to a mobile screen, designers are starting with the smallest screen, creating concepts that get to the core of your website’s purpose, and building outwards to fill larger screens. It’s efficient and ensures the user experience of your mobile users has been placed at the forefront of your site’s design. This design approach really helps with mobile-centric marketing, as you consider the site’s use from the perspective of a mobile user.
A mobile-first design won’t guarantee you excellent rankings in google searches, but it will help you to ensure your site’s mobile optimisation. Other considerations such as your site’s security, load speed and storage are all still major considerations in any site build and should not be ignored. You should consider your user experience as a whole when thinking about a site build, using strong systems helps with things like your page to load time. The easier and more pleasant your site is to use, the longer people will stay on it and the more likely you are to rank highly in searches.