There is a new buzz word around the Internet known as Mobile First Design. But just what is mobile first design and why should you be paying attention? We’ll explore the definition, benefits, and give you actionable steps on how to ensure your website is mobile first in this Webtivity exclusive.

What is Mobile First Design?

Mobile first design is the next iteration of what’s known as responsive web design. This methodology of creating websites ensures that the website size changes and adapts to the size of the screen of the device accessing it. This adaptability allows visitors across various devices, including desktops, to have a seamless experience while visiting your website.

To achieve mobile responsiveness, website designers use two approaches. Progressive advancement, which starts the website design at its most basic, then adds more advanced features while checking backward compatibility across various devices. Or graceful degradation, this method begins with a sophisticated website with all features included subsequently compatibility across devices is achieved working backward.

Progressive advancement is the most straightforward approach to mobile responsiveness. IT is what gave rise to the concept of mobile first. Mobile first assumes that you design a website with mobile device users in mind first. Then more advanced features are added while working towards customizing the mobile first website to other devices with larger screens such as desktops.

Mobile User Trends

Why all the hullabaloo about mobile website visitors? Well, take a look at the graph below.

Mobile First Design

Source: StatCounter

Mobile users currently outnumber desktop users and continue to widen the gap on the Internet. Smartphone sales have consistently outpaced desktop device sales since 2011. It’s readily apparent why. A smartphone is magnitudes cheaper than a computer, and increasingly mobile devices can do almost anything a desktop computer can, albeit slower. Put simply, the future online is mobile. Search engines are aware of this and have reacted accordingly. Websites with a mobile focus get a nice bump in their search engine rankings.

Practicing the Mobile First Doctrine

There are several ways to accomplish the mobile first process. The easier of the two, is to use a theme from a Content Management System such as WordPress.  Newer themes  are  jumping on the mobile first train. From there, all that’s needed is the crack skills of a trusted designer to customize your website. They can ensure all customizations to your liking don’t break the mobile first goal of your website.

The second approach is to build a completely custom website. The custom approach is the harder of the two methods and involves using device mocking apps to design a website that first caters to mobile visitors then slowly adapt it to desktop devices using the progressive advancement approach. We recommend a dedicated designer who is familiar with the needs of various mobile platforms for this technique.

Are you ready to upgrade your website to a mobile first design? Give Webtivity a call at 941-753-7574 or send us a message by clicking here.

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