Years ago, Google, in one of its developers meets, gave particular stress on the importance of mobile-first design. Just like the popularity of the responsive design that came as an idea to meet the design requirements of the mobile devices, the mobile-first design principle is principally about meeting the design requirements of mobile users. In fact, it takes one step further than responsive design to give priority to mobile-centric design. Today, all over the world, the mobile-first design has become popular and established as the norm of web and app design.
If you still are not convinced about the effective role played by the mobile-first design, here we are going to explain a few important things.
After Eric Schmidt of Google in 2010 Mobile World Congress announced mobile-first design, 8 years passed before we saw Google openly coming up with mobile-first search engine ranking. As per this principle, the mobile version of a website will be evaluated first by Google in order to rank the website in search engine listing. This new ranking parameter helped all those websites that already have a mobile-first design priority.
An increasing number of people making online purchases through websites prefer mobile websites instead of desktop ones. Mobile web purchases are slowly taking over the desktop web purchases. For certain age groups like the millennials and the teenagers, mobile web browsing and shopping have already taken over the volume for desktop users. As mobile engagement and scope of business conversion are significantly higher than that of desktop users, websites are increasingly opting for mobile-first design.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) creates another broad scope of utilizing the mobile-first design. Since PWAs are websites with many native app-like features and performance, an increasing number of businesses for a comprehensive mobile and web footprint are opting for this technology.
If a website already has a mobile-first design, turning it into a PWA will be easier. That is another big incentive for giving priority to the mobile-optimized design.
Since mobile devices are continuing to get popular and have already taken over the mainstream of computing, the mobile-first approach will stay relevant in the years to come. Mobile-first design in the years to come will become the principal design convention for the vast majority of websites across the niches.
Now that you have known the almost irreplaceable role of mobile-first design, it is important to reveal some of the useful and effective principles for utilizing this design principle for your app project. Let us reveal the important tips for mobile-first design.
Minimalist design principles are already champions in the context of mobile websites principally because mobile device screens are smaller, and less number of design elements and content can always help to reduce cognitive load and distractions. Moreover, mobile users are an impatient lot who most often just grabs content or a message with a quick glance. This is another reason why minimalism works so well for mobile websites.
Simplicity is the in-thing now for the digital applications and platforms principally because of the mobile users who happen to consume loads of content every day. Just because our mobile time spending takes up a considerable portion of our days and nights, we always remain restless and bored. This is why, as mobile users, we hate complexity so much and fall for simplicity so dearly. To give your mobile-first design approach a boost, make sure the screen looks simple, easy to interact, and quick to make the message through.
To ensure simplicity in design, follow these principles.
Last but not least, important considerations are to use the right design tools for your mobile website. Fortunately, you have loads of great design tools for all design tasks and purposes. As for frameworks, you have Bootstrap, Skeleton, and Foundation as popular choices. By using the right design tools, you can already progress towards perfection as these tools are time-tested and used across several successful projects.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) refers to the design and development approach of creating an app product progressively over time while starting with a basic design and feature set that uphold the quintessential value proposition of the app. The idea is to create an app design that works well for the target users and after getting feedback adding further design elements to improve the design output. The MVP approach allows you to validate a design and make changes for further improvement.
Mobile-first design as a principle will continue to dominate the world wide web for the years to come. Naturally, it is wise for the website developers and designers to utilize all the time-tested principles and validated tools that help to shape a design primarily for mobile users.