Desktop was king until recently, and mobile-first strategies — if they existed at all — took a backseat to developing websites for desktop users. As the number of mobile users continues to rise, companies are prioritizing mobile web development. Failing to adopt this strategy could mean the difference between a successful business and a struggling one.
A mobile-first strategy is a method in website development in which designing a site for mobile devices takes priority over desktops. This tactic was first developed years ago to solve a significant user pain point. Users wanted to complete the same tasks on their smartphones as they could on a desktop. This approach relieves this pain by creating a mobile version first without sacrificing content or functionality.
To accomplish this, a web designer will build the site for a mobile platform and then improve it for desktop use. This is the opposite of a desktop-first strategy where a website is built, and then its non-compatible elements are stripped to create a mobile site.
The power of mobile-first design is that it allows businesses to interact with their consumers in more efficient and meaningful ways. It utilizes technology that is specific to mobile users — like GPS and built-in cameras — to create features that are unavailable to desktop users. This level of convenience and interconnectivity helps make smartphones invaluable and fosters greater engagement among website visitors.
If a better user experience doesn’t convince you to consider a mobile-first approach, there is this statistic. 57% of people say they won’t recommend a business that has a poorly designed mobile site. The fact of the matter is mobile users have less patience these days. They know what they want, and they want it now.
Designing for the small screen first has several advantages to a desktop-first approach. If you haven’t implemented a mobile-first strategy into your business yet, here are five reasons you may want to rethink your decision:
One of the biggest advantages of going mobile-first is that your website is compatible with different types of platforms. The site visitors see on a smartphone should be similar to the one that will appear on a desktop computer.
Content is king on mobile sites. There simply isn’t room for unnecessary elements, so the available space should include content that will help users along the buyer’s journey. Mobile devices are also much easier to read because copywriters often arrange text in easy-to-read paragraphs of two to three sentences.
Adaptive mobile design plays a significant role in influencing a website’s SEO rating. Nowadays, search engines like Google use mobile-first indexing practices. This means that if you aren’t optimizing for mobile, you are going to rank lower in the search results and lose out on customers as a result.
With a mobile-first approach to coding, website development starts with a simpler code used for mobile devices. A desktop-first approach, however, is the opposite. The complex code for desktop is written first, then overrides for smaller screens are added in. Styling for mobile-first helps to simplify your code, which prevents bugs in the future.
The user experience (UX) is one of the most important aspects to consider. If you can improve that experience for your visitors, you will gain their loyalty and keep them coming back for more. However, a website that is too slow or hard to use will cause users to abandon it in a heartbeat.
If you’re looking for ways to adopt a mobile-first strategy, reach out to the Agital Team today!