Smartphones are taking over computers. This is discernible in the increased rate of mobile application development as compared to web application development. This shift between technological gadgets led to the idea behind putting mobile first. The approach was introduced in 2009 with the notion of progressive enhancement. It suggests that any design must start from its mobile version and then progress to the desktop edition. The process was said to save the complexities faced by web designers while following the traditional top-down approach that takes the desktop version as the anchor point and then degrades to mobile design.
Other than just being a simple way to progress into a convoluted version, the mobile first approach is evolving as an alternative way due to many reasons.
- Statista forecasted 4.7 billion mobile users by 2017 and the number is increasing exponentially each day.
- Another survey by Statista suggests that the worldwide mobile app downloads by the year 2017 are 197 billion.
- The worldwide mobile phone sales have exceeded desktop computers.
- A report by smart insights suggests that 80% of internet users have a smartphone.
Young adults mostly prefer to open websites via phones and here is the niche for the mobile first approach. More to that, more and more mobile application development jobs are being posted across the world that makes the trend obvious.
The basic flaw in the traditional approach is that we actually design the complex part first and then try to simplify it for the smaller screens. In this process, the design gets crowded and the important content gets less visible on the phone display. Starting small provides the designer opportunity to work progressively initiating with the simple version (MVP) and adding up the content and features for large screens. The approach makes more sense as the important features don’t get suffocated in the smaller versions.
Space utilization is the biggest challenge when it comes to web design. Mobile first helps the designer to focus on the most important information which might be lost in the crowd while degrading to small screens as the desktop allows too much space. The removal of congested content is more appealing and causes more conversions by highlighting the selling point.
Light and adaptive
Working on mobile first helps create a lighter and high user-end version of the website. Doing so helps the website to run fast, load easily, and create conversions. Loading time is the most important aspect when it comes to websites with regards to search engine ranking. It also affects the user preference as too much loading time makes the users to abandon the site. In the year 2017, BBC revealed that they lose an average of 10% users for every extra second it takes on loading their site.
The world of technology is continuously in transition making it vital for the IT experts to adopt new trends. The need for mobile first can’t be denied keeping in view the increasing number of mobile application development professionals, users, and the equally decreasing trends in desktop web-surfing.