How did the trend appear? Simply look around. How many people staring at the screens of their smartphones do you notice? There are some, I bet. The popularity of smartphones and the stats of the Internet access from handheld devices over-passed the PCs and laptops usage back in 2016. People tend to access the web on-the-go, so making all pieces of content provided on your site’s pages adaptive to smaller screens is the must-follow rule for every business that wants to achieve a success in the modern competitive world.
Mobile-Friendly vs Mobile-First Design
We’ve got used to the terms responsive and mobile-friendly design. Isn’t this just the same as mobile-first web pages? Although the two terms sound somewhat similar, they bear different meanings.
A mobile-friendly web design is a smaller version of a desktop website that displays just about everything on a smartphone screen the way the content would appear on a desktop, with minimal enhancements concerning the loading speeds and functionality of a website. After it was first introduced by Ethan Marcotte in 2010, the technique gained its popularity among the webmasters worldwide. This became a better alternative to the development of mobile apps since a web user attained a chance to access all of the major pieces of web data while simply navigating to a specific web page in the browser window. Simply put, a responsive web design is the one that changes every piece of data and layout element depending on the width of the browser window from which a web page is accessed.
Mobile-first web design is an independent technical approach to building websites, which was introduced by Luke Wroblewski in 2009. Instead of building a site for the screens of larger devices primarily, the technique suggests that you put a smaller smartphone screen in the heart of your web development strategy. This allows you to focus on the essentials mainly, bringing the primary focus on the design elements and pieces of content that bear the major importance for your brand and your audience.
When a user accesses mobile-first web pages, additional layers of content are added further. This makes your site well thought-out and content-centric.
Mobile-First Websites Importance
One of the biggest advantages of building mobile-first websites is their flexibility and possibility to advance to larger screen sizes. Such layouts are limited in space, which makes you select the elements for your future site more selectively.
A mobile-first website is a strong foundation for the tablet and desktop versions of your site. Featuring the progressive enhancement technology, it scales up to the larger screens while being enhanced with additional layers of content. When it comes to the mobile-first web design approach, the content is made more important than navigation. This makes it easier and quicker for your visitors to come up with the necessary pieces of data.
Mobile-first websites do not only deliver a more seamless browsing experience on smaller screens. These can make your web page more findable in the search engines. Google ranks for mobile-friendliness, giving preference to mobile-first websites over desktop-only web solutions.
Containing fewer design elements, mobile-first websites are speedy enough, which allows the web audiences to access the necessary data much faster. The major benefit that site owners can derive from faster page loading speeds is the conversions boost and better user engagement. Even a 1-second delay can cause your site a 7% loss in conversions. Avoid this while opting for mobile-first websites.
How to Create Mobile-First Websites
One of the best and quickest ways to build mobile-first pages is to use a responsive website creator that allows you to build unique designs code-free. The popularity of drag-and-drop page builders grows at the fast rate. There is no need to spend time at the learning curve in order to be able to create versatile web pages without tweaking the code.
Moreover, you can use ready-made web themes that include all essentials that are needed for a quick start of your web project. All you need to do is to select a web theme that suits your topic, adjust it with the help of the drag-and-drop admin panel, upload the pages with your content, and bring it online.
Neglecting to use mobile-first designs can equal a sin in the modern-day digitalized world. The usability and intuitiveness of browsing your web page are the fundamentals that every UX designer should keep in mind in order to make his site appeal to the demanding web users.
Taking into account the popularity of the modern handheld devices and the growing number of mobile web users, it’s indispensable to opt for mobile-first websites. This will hardly make the lives of web designers easier. However, it will make your web page look more appealing to the audience and easier to navigate. And what do you think?
This is a guest article by Tim Ross.