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    Web Design | Web Development

    What Is Mobile First Design?

    Mobile first is a practice as simple as it sounds. It’s a concept that has been around for some time and is one that is becoming more popular. In simple terms, mobile first design is the idea of designing a responsive website with mobile users as the priority. Adding more features and content as the screen size increases.
    Mobile First Design isn’t exactly new. It was first proposed around the turn of the decade, gaining popularity with the advent of responsive design. As designers looked to a future where mobile would become the dominant device, they needed to reconsider how they looked at websites. Modern design needs met the needs of users across screen sizes. Today, over 52% of all online traffic is conducted on mobile devices. The future has arrived, and consumers are turning to mobile devices for their online experiences.
    Mobile First isn’t just a response to emerging trends. It has many other benefits. It creates a workflow that focuses on delivering what is essential to users. By focusing on the core message, designers and content creators are forced to hone in on the elements of a website that matter most. By making these tough decisions at the start of the process, rather than at the end, a clear point of focus is found, and extra content can be added in with the luxury of more space.
    User Experience is also a very important factor. A 2012 survey showed that 50% of mobile users will abandon of web page if it takes more than 10 seconds to load, and 60% won’t return to the site. Google made mobile a priority in 2015, penalising sites in mobile search results that didn’t work on mobile devices. And in 2016 Google announced that they would create a ‘mobile first’ index that looks at mobile content rather than desktop. A well designed mobile site is now a priority, not a luxury.
    Yet there is a catch. When starting with a stripped back version of a website there is a risk that certain elements will be left behind. It is important that the full advantages are taken of each device. Avoid the trap of missed opportunities that could leave a website design looking too simplistic, minimal, or even unfinished.
    Remember that mobile first is a solution to a problem. It came about to solve the issue that something couldn’t be done a smaller device. Mobile users now expect a mobile website to offer the full functionality of a desktop website. It’s here that the value of a mobile first approach lies. Don’t be afraid to separate the user experience on mobile from desktop. Especially if it provides a better journey for the user while delivering the same outcome. Location services, for example, might not apply to a desktop user, but might enhance the experience on a handheld device.
    Striking the balance between form and functionality is tricky. Here at Cefar, we’re experts in creating functional cross device websites. For more information on our digital design and development services check out our services pages. Or for an informal chat on how we can guide you through the process get in touch.