Mobile First Designs – Importance and Latest Trends

As the name suggest, mobile first design is giving the priority to designing a website or application for mobile first before the desktop versions.

Mobile First Designs is the latest trend in the field of development. As we all know that the market for mobile phone users is growing significantly, prioritizing the development focused on the needs of a mobile phone user will give us better reach and downloads.

So what basically is Mobile First?

It is expected that by 2019 the total number of smartphone users will reach to 2.7 billion whereas the total number of mobile phone users are expected to cross the five billion mark.

Hence, with such an exponential growth of the mobile phones user all over the world, the demand for mobile friendly websites and applications has increased.

Historically, whenever someone wanted to build a website or an application, they focused on creating the desktop version, keeping the mobile friendly version as secondary option.

The latest approach which focused on mobile first designs will not only generate more opportunities for the business but will also increase the user experience.

Starting from the small screen first and then reaching you way to the larger screen is known as progressive enhancement. It’s about focusing on the compact screen to provide the most important content to the user and then adding the enhancements up to the larger screen.

The importance of Mobile First

These days people use their mobiles to access the internet more than they use desktop or laptop. From shopping to reading, from work to playing games, use of mobile phones has increased significantly in the last 5-10 years and is expected to surpass the use of desktops.

Hence, it is very important to focus on mobile layout for a website or an app before working on the desktop or larger screen.

Mobile designs/layout doesn’t give much option to put everything we want on the small screen but only the important content that must reach to the user.

This increases the user experience and increases the chances for the user to stay on your website reducing the bounce rate.

Mobile First is also considered as Content First as the small screen allows providing only the significant and the important content to the user enhancing the user experience to the max. The Mobile phone user expect the website or app to be fast, light, and up to the mark by providing exactly what they want to see.

How Mobile First Works?

Mobile First approach is that strong foundation which strengthens the design for larger screen versions like desktops and tablets.

Mobile First approach focus on content over navigation. In other words, it emphasize on user experience of accessing the content and information quicker without much scrolling.

When to the point information is made available to the user, it increases the conversion rate as well as the downloads, generating profit for your business.

The mobile first design limits the designer to use only the content which is most needed by the user, removing the extra elements.

The extra elements aren’t those which are not necessary, but are those which are not required to be shown to the mobile users. These elements can be used in the desktop/tablet versions.

It is understandable that a mobile user have different requirements than a desktop user. Mobile users prefer compact information and limited but important features as compared to the desktop users which require in-depth information and additional features.

Prominent Examples of the Mobile First Designs
  1. YouTube – The desktop version of YouTube is the extended version of the YouTube app. Moreover, the website has a responsive design, which means if you reduce the size or resolution of the browser it will adjust itself to the smaller screen version.

    Mobile friendly feature – night mode, text display

  2. Apple mobile website – The mobile version of the Apple website is a good example of the content based layout. Instead of the navigation button, it simply allows the user to scroll the screen which is pretty easy and convenient. The necessary shopping bag is displayed, giving user the information and option for shopping at the first glance.

    Mobile friendly feature – easy and convenient scroll navigation

  3. Facebook – Facebook completely focuses the user experience. The animations that Facebook website provides have been implemented on the Facebook App and even to Facebook Lite app which is much lighter than Facebook app. The Lite version of Facebook App provide the necessary features of Facebook with less space occupied on your phone and it’s faster which makes it easier to use even on the low speed internet. Even the mobile website of Facebook now supports animations in emoticons making it easier for us to convey the human emotions via them irrespective of the version we are on.

    Mobile friendly feature – effective animation, less space occupied, light and fast

  4. Evernote – Evernote basically provides the document storage service across all platforms. The mobile version of Evernote is pretty similar to the desktop version with clear user interface. It is the fresh and clean UI of Evernote that makes it the most favorable note storage service on mobile.

    Mobile friendly feature – Clean and fresh mobile interface

The Latest Trends for Mobile First Design
  1. Simplification of the User experience by either of the following:

    Linear flow – letting the user completing one step at a time by providing them a specific beginning, middle and end. For example, cab booking apps like Uber.

    Progressive disclosure – disclosing information only when needed by the user. For example, gaming apps which let user to click or tap to see the information.

  2. Gesture based Animations

    Animations with text instructions, transitions, and feedback on the gestures. For example, swiping on Tinder, slideshows in gallery etc.

  3. Content focused experience

    Easy accessible content with the most relevant and necessary information available makes a mobile app attractive to the users. This can be done in two ways:

    Decluttering – Removing the irrelevant information and prioritizing the relevant content is what enhances the User Experience. Removing visual clutter and putting the content first makes it easier to convey the message in the best possible way.

    Clear Visual Hierarchy –Clean and clear visual elements make the UI more presentable and easy to understand. Visual signifiers like contrasting colors for call-to-action buttons direct the user to ascertain essential information.

  4. Full Screen Experiences

    Now-a-days, the latest trend in the screen size of smartphones is the Infinity Display. With phones like Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone X, more screen space is available for the user and they expect the maximum experience out of it. Hence, providing the HD images and videos which do not pixelate on a mobile screen heightens the user experience.

  5. Personalized User Experience

    Personalization of the user experience is a must do thing while designing an app as all users are different. So the UI should be different for everyone or at least allow the user to customize it based on his/her preference and requirement. Providing features like the use of GPS for location based content, night mode, changes in font size, and changes in the dimension of the app are few of the examples of personalization of an app.

Conclusion

Giving preference to the web design first and then moving to mobile design is no longer applicable in today’s world. A pleasurable user experience is what we should be focused on and that is what will generate profits for us. Using the mobile first approach is itself the newest trend in the field of design and development but it will surely be the more common approach in the Internet industry. The mobile website is supposed to be simple, fast and light while the desktop website must be full of all the necessary information with a gorgeously designed interface for the bigger screens. The mobile-first approach not only make it easier to develop the desktop version in future but it also provide the highest possible user experience to majority of the population which uses mobile phones as their one stop solution for almost everything.

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One Comment

  1. Nice article… I think you are right now trends are changing from web first to Mobile first and its really good sign mobile app development company.

    Thanks again… Keep posting.

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