Mobile first design for the modern internet
Mobile first design is the new trend, as even with the rise of responsive design, many of us begin with the “full size” site and work our way down.
by Paolo Euvrard
Historically, most web designers and their clients have approached the desktop side of any project first, while leaving the mobile part as a secondary goal that gets accomplished later. But that was a while ago. The market has changed a lot.
There’s a growing trend in the industry though to flip this workflow on its head and begin with mobile considerations and then work up to a larger desktop version. Why would you ever approach a project this way? What are some of the pros and cons of this strategy?
Why mobile-first design?
60% of the traffic to a website comes from mobiles or tablets. Long is gone the time when one has to sit at his desk to surf the net. Think about it: how many times a day you check something on your phone through the internet?
It's important to start with a mobile design first for good reasons:
It helps to focus on what is necessary. Many customers tend to write too much information on their website and get visitors lost. By implementing a mobile-first design, you HAVE TO focus on what message you need to convey. After all, you have a limited space to use. And it is good: It helps to focus on what matters the most. What do you want to say? Do you want to talk about your life, your company? Or get the message that will help your visitor to convert into a customer or a member? A Too big screen has a tendency to be confusing, people don't know what to look for, and finally leave because they couldn't find what they wanted: an answer to their search.
Nobody cares what you think, or what you are, but yourself. Think about it for a second. When you are looking for a new apartment, do you want to know the background of the real estate agent? The landlord's history? What's up in town? Or do you want to know the neighborhood, the price, and the advantages you can get by renting a house there?
Simply put: working on mobile design first helps you to think about your goal without all the trimmings. You have a little space to convince: what will you do with it?
There is space, after, to go with all the details you want to add on tablets or desktop, and you can even put things like your cat's picture. But on mobile, you need to be efficient, and straight to the point.
Google and the AMP project for mobile design
The AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project was thrown by Google a couple years back, as they were concerned that many so-called developers and designer were focusing on building websites the wrong way. Google tried to emphasize that visitors experience should come first, as well as user-friendly designs - especially for mobiles. Seeing how the trend was going, they put together a standard that would go a long way to help make the internet surfing a less confusing place.
Consider the two versions of this website
Do you get the differences? If not, try to look them up on your mobile phone...
The point being: you should be able to deliver your message through efficiently, whatever device your visitors are using.