The mobile vs. desktop discussion continues to be both topical and relevant as we move into the future. Over half of internet traffic in the US comes from our mobile devices. It doesn’t just affect consumers and how they consume content, shop, or interact socially but also allows an experience for your brand voice and tone to be both enjoyable and unique.
What is mobile-first design and why it is important.
Mobile-first design is a design philosophy that impacts how users interact with the content within your experience. It forces restrictions that help create a simple and easy to navigate structure for your users. In the ever changing world of screen sizes, starting with a mobile device in mind will allow every part of creating content to be viewed through the lens of working in a mobile environment and creating a seamless experience on every larger screen size.
That’s why a mobile-first design approach is a great strategy for all digital products including websites, apps and software.
Three benefits of practicing a mobile first approach.
Places a priority on structuring content
Content is key and this approach helps page structure and information architecture be front and center. That means prioritizing your most important content assets as soon as possible on your page. Additionally, it shapes the flow and how the story can be written as a user interacts with content and moves through the experience.
Aligns with accessibility best practices
Mobile-first design pushes you to make your digital experiences more readable on smaller screens. The size and spacing of text (both headline and body copy) and the contrast of the copy over images and on backgrounds allows for better design decisions to be made. For example, you wouldn’t want to place a lot of small text over an image where it’s too tough to read.
Demands a simple interface that keeps the users needs first.
Great design is simple. And simple can sometimes be hard, but this process limits the content on screen only to what the users are there for. We try and minimize the call to actions being presented so that the user is able to focus exactly what we want them to focus on without the burden of too much clutter.
In the end, a mobile-first approach to organizing and architecting a digital experience forces the end user to be kept top of mind throughout every design and creative decision made. If something doesn’t enhance their experience, it probably doesn’t need to be there.