What is the “mobile first” trend and do we need it?
The term “mobile first” has varying degrees of definitions depending on the source but the underlying idea is still the same. Website design and development that begin with the mobile user in mind over the traditional desktop user. This strategy separates itself from the commonly heard term, “mobile-friendly” which strives to incorporate a clean user experience across multiple platforms but is still desktop focused.
Mobile first seeks to establish the mobile user as the primary marketing target. UX/UI (user experience/user interface) design and development adhere to the philosophy of progressive enhancement. The idea is to begin the design process to fit the mobile device first and then to add/adjust content and features to accommodate larger screens.
In addition to this, the type of content like a business’s phone number and address are utilized with the mobile user in mind first. So, in this case, the contact information may be the homepage banner rather than one click away on a separate landing page.
So, what do we think?
There are many benefits to this design philosophy given the current climate where more than half of all activity begins on a mobile device. Smaller companies relying on walk-in business and e-commerce sales may benefit greatly from a mobile first perspective.
Mobile first requires us as developers to incorporate a forward thinking mindset regarding the trend on how consumers purchase products.
Advances in technology like the Apple Wallet, Square and payment apps challenge us to redefine the traditional user experience in regards to e-commerce sales.
There is also a growing trend with desktop apps taking over a traditional desktop website. Think Uber and Instagram. These highly popular apps began with the mobile user first and then incorporated a desktop version and have seen great success as a result. Apps are also great if you want to reach your clientele offline.
But overall, we at DeCort Interactive don’t like labels.
It’s standard practice to incorporate a clean, mobile version of a website and each project and every client is unique. We do not force our design and development process to fit the latest trend of “mobile- friendly” or “mobile first”. Rather, we encourage an open dialogue with our clientele and bend the trends as we need. We prefer to color (and think) out of the box which allows room for the design and development process to take on an organic shape. We anticipate the growing needs and trends for the future and pull the best bits out of the latest processes to create a site that is both highly functional and easy to use.
So, if you are thinking about upgrading your site to become “mobile-friendly” or “mobile first” then let’s talk. You can even check out our previous post on what to consider when migrating to a new site.