Why consider Mobile first design? Though it has its good and bad sides, like any other design really, you should at least consider it. Think of it as a change of perspective. Instead of first designing a website for desktop and then modifying it for smaller devices, like mobiles and tablets, you start small and simple and work your way up.
As technology allowed for mobiles and tablets to perform as well as some desktop computers, the number of users of smaller devices who use it to access websites is growing. This doesn’t mean that desktop will become irrelevant any time soon because many developers still opt for the desktop first. There is no wrong answer, really, but depending on who your users are you can gain more by choosing one or the other.
In this article, we will focus on the pros and cons of Mobile first design. Hopefully, it will help you determine if you should give it a go.
Give Them What They Need
Instead of dumbing down your beautifully designed desktop-oriented website to fit small screens, start from the beginning and build a website which can respond to your users’ needs. This might save you a lot of time and headache from the start. Mobile and tablet users are usually on the go, and so you should focus on making the website easy to use and navigate.
Another point to consider is that you build one website for all users and all devices. No matter whether your user first accesses your site from their phone and later on from their laptop, they will be able to find information with more ease. This creates the better user experience, which is actually all you can hope for.
Let’s talk about loading time. Mobile first loads the most necessary info first, and in that way prevents lags and poor performance. Though you might think desktop first has figured it out completely, you would be wrong. Though their sites remove content when viewed from mobiles, the data is still downloaded, which can result in bad loading time.
Worse loading time brings us to one conclusion. What works for mobiles, works for a desktop. What works for desktop, may not work for mobile. Another point for Mobile first.
The Way of the Future
Google has already opted for Mobile first design, as it has recognized the growing number of mobile website users. By choosing Mobile first, you can expect better rankings as search engines, like Google, are openly favoring it.
In long term, having only one code to manage seems a better deal too. Instead of creating separate codes for separate devices, why not opt for one which works for everyone. Not to mention that it saves time, which means that it also saves money.
Less Room for Creativity
Web design developers have been using a desktop-sized canvas for years, so it is hard to imagine beginning with a screen a size of their palm. Using Mobile first approach makes the number of tools available fewer as well. Building a site mobile-friendly, informative, similar enough to be easy to use and yet stands out from your competitors is at best tricky. Though it doesn’t seem the best design for creativity, Mobile first could turn out to be a great new challenge for developers. With time, it might transform from a confinement to a new way to go about building a site.
It seems that we are leaning towards the use of Mobile first, though we have tried to present both sides. Sites are built by businesses but they are built for their users and possible customers. As a relevant proportion of those users are mobile-site users, adapting site-building designs to enhance their experience seems almost necessary. In addition, having one site for all devices may be the next logical step in website evolution, though it might challenge some of our viewpoints. Our advice: try it out.