These days, the vast majority of web users access the internet for their daily activities through mobile devices. While desktops and laptops are still a strong sector of the market in offices and workplaces, it is tablets and cell phones that dominate the consumer market and are even taking a big chunk of the commercial and professional one. This is why many marketing strategies are looking to mobile first web design in the coming year. Here’s a look at the trend of mobile first web design, its benefits, its drawbacks and why every marketing strategy should consider it in 2016.
Mobile First Web Design
Mobile first web design is an effort to address the growing mobile device use for Internet access. Historically, web designers have turned to computers first—traditional desktops and laptops. They then apply intelligent or responsive web design to make sure that any site they build works the same when viewed mobile.
Now that more users are using smartphones and tablets, the trend is shifting towards designing for these devices first, and then reverse-applying responsive design to make sites work on desktops.
Beyond the Niche
Mobile design isn’t a niche anymore. There are 1.2 billion mobile users of the web over the entire world. A full quarter of users in the U.S. alone access the web only through mobile devices. Nearly 11 billion mobile apps have been downloaded, and the web is something that goes with us everywhere we go these days. The phone in your pocket is a more powerful device than the one that sent the first astronauts to the moon.
Degradation vs. Enhancement
The key in mobile design is progressive enhancement. In the old method, a full-fledged, full-featured website would be built, and features would be removed as the screen size got smaller. With mobile-first, the website is designed at a minimal level, and the site enhanced as it grows to larger platforms.
What this accomplishes is that the best possible website is designed for the mobile platform rather than a watered-down version of the full one. What is then added on larger platforms are a few bells and whistles while keeping the underlying architecture lean and sleek. Your website will load faster and work better with a more basic underlying build.
The Down Side
The real downside is that it can be very tricky to approach mobile design effectively. Your options are more limited than they are with responsive design. It can be a headache to come up with the ideal design that is built for a small screen, less real estate and lower processing power.
This, however, is why it’s good to turn to a professional internet marketing firm to work with you on your content. If you would like more information on building content for a mobile first design, we can help. Read more about what we do and drop us a line for more information today!