50% of global web traffic already comes from smartphones and tablets
How can mobile-first design help?
The principle is as straight forward as it sounds: Mobile-first means designing your website for smaller screens, scaling up with optional features and content based on device capabilities and sizes.
60%+ of all US web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.1 And the average American already spends over twice the amount of time on the internet on their phone compared to desktop, a trend that is only increasing.2 In fact, due to this, Google already took the step of basing its search index on mobile sites rather than desktop sites.3 This all makes it vital to optimize features explicitly for the smaller screen rather than treating it as an afterthought. Taking a desktop site and transferring it directly to mobile does not lead to a great user experience. With multi-platform use now the norm (across all ages), a mobile-first design philosophy is usually the right way to start.
What experience are users going to have with your website?
With the rise in mobile access, mobile is often the gateway channel to establishing customer relationships. Mobile-first means focusing on the right experience for the device type; rather than shoehorning an existing desktop site into a smaller screen, mobile-first designs explicitly for that platform. The nature of the mobile screen with tapping, swiping and smaller size, means that a lot of thought and sometimes tough decisions must go into creating a great and intuitive user experience.
Be sure to keep the desktop user in mind and spend some real time maximizing the scaled-up experience, enhancing functionality across platforms and users. This progressive enhancement approach ensures that websites are fully functional on, and purposely designed for, the mobile interface (smallest screen), as well as larger tablet and desktop screens.
As you consider your design strategy going forward, how will you create the best user experience for customers no matter what their device?
- Statcounter, Nov 2017, http://gs.statcounter.com/platform-market-share/desktop-mobile-tablet/united-states-of-america
- ComScore, Apr 2017, https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2017/Mobiles-Hierarchy-of-Needs
- Google Webmaster Blog, Nov 2016, https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/11/mobile-first-indexing.html