Mobile First Design: Is It That Important?
October 4, 2018
By now, I'm sure you have heard the term "mobile first design." In this post, we'll be going over what it means and why you should care.
What is Mobile First Design?
Mobile First design is the process of designing your website first for mobile users, then adapting it for desktop users. In the past, it has been customary to design a website, first for desktop and then, secondarily, make sure it looks right on a mobile device, such as a tablet or phone. So, with mobile first design, the order is reversed. It becomes all about your mobile users first. It's not that you don't care about pleasing your desktop users, which is still very important. However, the mobile first approach is taking precedence.
According to Statista, mobile usage has increased worldwide from less than 1 percent in 2009 to 52.2% in 2018. This is quite a jump, and shows why mobile first has become so important.
Responsive design is using HTML and CSS to automatically resize, hide, shrink, or enlarge, a website, to make it look good on all devices (desktops, tablets, and phones. (w3schools.com) So, is responsive design important or should we only be concerned with mobile first design?
Responsive design is extremely important. Depending on your business and market, there may still be a good percentage of people using desktops or other devices such as laptops or tablets. Responsive design takes all of your potential customers into account and ensures that your website will look good and function well on any size device.
Mobile First Indexing
According to Moz, mobile first indexing means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index, and the baseline for how they determine rankings. So, what happens if you don't have a mobile friendly website? You can still be included in the search rankings (based on your desktop version), but Google themselves encourages website owners (and web designers) to make sure their content is mobile friendly. They want your readers to have a good experience while on your website. Bottom line? Make sure your website is mobile responsive, so the search engines as well as your web visitors are happy.
Mobile first design has gotten a lot of publicity lately, and it reflects how the world is changing. Everyone is on their cell phones and will be doing online searches on smaller devices. You want your website to fare well when someone visits it. Make sure you offer great content, it is mobile friendly and loads quickly. This will go a long way in creating a great user experience.