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What is ‘Mobile First Design’ for websites?

What is ‘Mobile First Design’ for websites?

A large majority of growing businesses have a website with 92% of small business owners thinking that having a website is the most effective digital marketing strategy.   This is most likely why it’s one of the key pieces of collateral business owners and directors want to make sure is on brand and converting well.

Website design has evolved as more people use a wider variety of devices to browse online.  A responsive website means that a website is equally well designed and user friendly on mobiles and tablets as it is on laptops and desktops, but ‘mobile first design’ for websites is taking that one step further.  It is designing a website primarily to be used on a mobile device but that also looks good on a desktop or laptop.

Why is ‘mobile first design’ important?

In 2016 mobile internet usage surpasses desktop internet usage.  That means that the audience on a mobile is larger than the audience with a laptop/desktop.  Also, mobile internet usage continues to grow, so this audience will only continue to rise.  Designing with mobile in mind might not be enough moving forward, it might need to be the key focus.

That isn’t the case in all instances though.  In some industries there might still be a heavier reliance on desktop usage.  Finance, games, science and technology are all areas where there is more desktop than mobile traffic.  Having said that in all those instances the lowest amount of mobile traffic is still 39% and if they follow trends this will continue to rise as well.

So mobile or desktop first?

Historically, mobile was always a side thought after the website was built – ‘does it look ok on everything else?’  The danger is that we go in the same direction with mobile with a ‘mobile first design’ approach, only checking how a website looks on a desktop as the mobile first designed website is completed.

So the question isn’t ‘mobile or desktop first’, it’s giving equal weight to all devices.  Having said that, the days of bringing in mobile at the end of a website design process are gone.

Get in touch if you’d like a holistic approach to website design.