With over five billion mobile devices, it makes more sense if the developers follow the mobile first design.
A few years back, developers initially used to build a desktop website and later transformed that into a platform-oriented design as per client requirements. But now, the scenario has completely changed where business entrepreneurs raised their focus on having a mobile-oriented design for their brand website. This profoundly increased the demand for the mobile first website and mobile first responsive design.
This drastic transformation took place because of the growing number of smartphones, offering optimum functionality we ever thought we would experience. Since the mobile marathon has already gained momentum among the global audience, there should not be any wonders why there’s a high rise in the digital population.
According to Statista’s 2019 report, there are 3.9 billion unique mobile internet users (and growing) worldwide, up from last year’s 3.7 billion. Another study revealed that 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices.
These numbers show that more people are hooked on their smartphones to access the internet—which means, if you successfully ace your mobile first development game, you’ll definitely acquire and retain more visitors for your brand website.
But this can be done only when you offer your visitors unified browsing experience. Therefore, you have to optimize, is your website fluid enough to fit your audience’s screens every time they come across your brand? If not, you need to work on it by adopting a mobile first web design approach.
Develop a Mobile First Content Strategy
Before going for the mobile first development, it’s crucial that you first draw the strategy. Whether you’re revamping the company’s old website or building a new one, always remember to create a mobile first content strategy. This means putting the most important information at the forefront (home screen) and placing extraneous features at the back end.
According to System.ly Founder and CEO Greg Hickman, 74% of consumers don’t stay on a website for more than five seconds and 46% are unlikely to return to the site if it doesn’t work the first time.
Since it is crucial for you to build the audience’s trust throughout their browsing journey. To achieve this, you need to prioritize the most important content by keeping the mobile target audience in mind. This helps customers attain the best mobile experience and make them stay for long to the website.
Here’s what you can do:
By using plugins and tools, you can make the mobile first responsive design more responsive; allowing your audience to consume your content regardless of where they’re viewing it. For example, in mobile design, the use of collapsible menus and widgets are used instead of the white space and navigation bars found on desktop browsers.
Make sure that your content is mobile friendly. Is your content readable to your users even without them needing to zoom in? Let your users easily find the information they need. Don’t give them a hard time sifting through blocks of texts when you can create sub-sections to show them what they are looking for.
As well, Use points instead of pixels for the point sizes. You can also use @media CSS queries to make sure font sizes and other design styles are optimized.
Google ranks websites for mobile friendliness. This means Google prioritizes websites that are not only relevant to what users are looking for but also easy for them to navigate through using mobile devices. So, to get ranked by this giant search engine, your design has to go through the Google mobile website test.
Here are a few tips:
As well, keep in mind that mobile interactions are different, with users mostly tapping on links and swiping on the screen. Instead of text links, use elements like interactive buttons and image galleries with swipe gestures.
Want to improve your audience’s mobile experience? Then you need to back your design with user interface principles. It’s useless to create a website without putting your target audiences in mind—how would you know what you will offer them? By applying these basic mobile UI principles, you will be able to take the place of your audience and design it the way you want them to experience your brand on mobile.
Here are the basic UI principles you have to remember:
Designing your website with the backend in mind is a user-first approach that requires you to identify your audience’s pain points and what solutions your company can offer to provide to address them. That way, you’ll be able to create functionalities that users will find easy to use. Plus, having an API ready on the backend will take out most of the load from your web developers since they no longer have to start from scratch; they just have to grow or modify what’s already there.
You won’t always get it right on your first try, and that’s exactly why you need mobile app A/B testing for your mobile first design.
Here’s how you can do it:
Why it’s great: The user experience of Apple’s website is very simple but says so much about the brand—sleek and stylish. Even across their social media accounts, its branding is already apparent on the website, highlighting its purpose of attracting customers to buy their products right at the first look.
Why it’s great: The functionality is all there – even providing different routes and ETA for people who choose to take public transportation, drive, bike, walk, and even ride a motorbike. What makes them stand out, is that their mobile website is virtually indistinguishable from their mobile app. Not only does the identical appearance make for a seamless experience, but both also operate at the same speed.
Why it’s great: SAP, as a B2B company, was able to deliver one of the best mobile experiences to users with its content-first website. It’s a hodge-podge of visual and written content, both meant to inform, educate and entertain users with just a few swipes. SAP was also able to minimize clutter on their mobile versions by making easy-to-use navigations—fit for business leaders who are always on-the-go.
Creating a mobile first approach to designing your website will go a long way but don’t be afraid to adapt what’s new; be afraid to get left behind.
To check out related mobile design guides, take a look at out article titled ‘A Complete Mobile App Design Guidelines Guide.’
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With a strong knowledge of the latest UI/UX design trends, Ayush, the creative head of MobileAppDaily, is curating enticing designs from the past five years. His work helped in achieving the desired user experience for many top brands. Right now, he’s at the helm of designing team and is leaving no stone unturned to devise futuristic designs.