Why mobile-first? – Designing for mobile-first.

We all know mobile is the way forward, so why are we designing websites for desktops first?

Mobile-first is the way forward in 2019! 

But: What is mobile-first?

Mobile First is a design strategy. The idea that when you create a website/app, you should start sketching and prototyping the smallest screens first, working your way up to larger screens. This is because the smallest of designs only have the essential features, so from the start, you have already designed the central part of your site. It is about delivering the correct user experience on the right device, focusing on mobile user experience. When creating a desktop site, many people then tend to convert this to a mobile site, which isn’t always efficient as the site will not be completely mobile friendly.

What are the benefits of mobile-first?

Mobile First ensures your website is designed specifically to work on a mobile phone. Since mobile is the way forward, tailoring your website to work efficiently on mobile seems the sensible thing to do, right? However, it also means that getting all the small trickier details up and running correctly for a mobile device, then the designing for other devices will be easier.

In 2017, mobile devices were responsible for more than Fifty-two percent of the total global internet traffic, and it’s overgrowing. Therefore it’s crucial to have a mobile-friendly site to prevent the loss of customers. Forty-eight percent of users say that if a business’ website is not mobile-friendly, they’ll take it as an indication that the company doesn’t care. If your site is not mobile-friendly, you are potentially losing many customers, so using mobile-first ensures your website is as mobile-friendly as possible. This way not only will you be gaining more customers, but you will be leaving with happier customers too. Mobile-friendly sites are more likely to rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages (e.g. Google). Ranking higher on a SERP is excellent news as a business because this can increase your traffic and make your business more discoverable!

Things to know when considering mobile-first.

Optimisation

Your mobile site speed needs to be fast. It’s all good using mobile-first, but if your site has not been optimised to have speed, then it will not be successful. If your site is taking too long to load, nobody will be interested, and you will lose more traffic and reduce customer satisfaction. A lot of mobile users will search the web for urgent things, e.g. how to bake a cake or how to fix a toilet. In this case, nobody is going to wait for your slow website to load. Instead, they will find one that loads quicker.

Mobile-first = Customer-first

To increase your chance of success, you could adopt new customer service channels, mobile businesses are always looking for ways to improve, so why not jump on the bandwagon? Get social savvy and use social media to interact with your customers.

Think about UX

On mobile you have such a tiny screen, therefore the layout needs to be kept neat. Hamburger or accordion menus are perfectly fine; they make it easier to browse through your website. Having content hidden behind tabs means you still have the content you need, but it is displayed neatly.

Get it ‘Write’.

You need to get your writing fit for a smaller screen, no more lengthy paragraphs with small text. You need to condense your writing. As mobile has the most limitations out of all devices, designing to a small scale means you have to get rid of a lot of content. Your text also needs to be big enough for a mobile audience to read. Make it attractive for your mobile users and not just a page full of cramped information. However, don’t get rid of all of your content!! Mobile users want just as much information as desktop users. Don’t strip them from your mobile site, instead focus on creating high-quality content all searchers want. You could use media to illustrate your points.
Once you have disposed of the irrelevant content, this prevents you from sticking unnecessary content on your desktop sites! So overall your website will be, effective, snappy and informative on all devices!

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