The mobile-first design strategy was discussed for the first time in 2010, over 12 years ago.
At the time, Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, stated that the company would shift to this design style. It is now anticipated that 7 billion (yes, with a “B”) individuals will own a smartphone by 2022. These 7 billion prove that Schmidt was correct when he declared, “mobile will ultimately be the method you supply the majority of your services.”
Developers should embrace mobile-first design now if they want to share the $7 billion (and growing) digital consumption industry.
What exactly is mobile-first design?
Traditionally, developers would scale down from desktop to mobile, but nowadays, developing with mobile in mind means beginning with the mobile end of your product and then expanding its capabilities to construct a desktop or tablet version.
The mobile-first design strategy strives to prototype and builds better user experiences by beginning the design process with the smallest screens, ensuring consistent user experience across all devices.
Web or app for mobile-first?
Companies will require a mobile web presence and a mobile app in 2022. With 57 per cent of consumers prepared to abandon a firm that provides a terrible mobile experience, the need for the mobile-first mindset has never been clearer.
Nike is a company that emphasises the long-term commercial advantages of having a mobile-first website and app. The site provides a smooth user experience to Nike’s sizeable worldwide audience. The site will urge them to download the app for even more perks, such as special discounts and awards, to keep those customers.
How your consumers feel about their mobile web experiences might influence whether or not they install your mobile apps.
To acquire, keep, and monetise the 7 billion digital customers today, businesses must consider mobile-first site and app design.
Why is mobile-first important? What are the two most significant advantages of mobile-first design?
Adopting mobile-first design means informing your consumers that they can expect a responsive UX regardless of platform. Taking this approach to design reduces and compresses your content into digestible bits – but there are even more and more significant benefits to doing so:
It has become increasingly evident that the mobile-first mindset is how to engage and keep digital consumers.
How did we end up here? A quick look at the history of mobile-first design:
By the Millenium, creating a site to work on numerous screen sizes had quickly become the norm. To do so successfully, however, developers had to employ a slew of gimmicks – that is, until the significant paradigm change occurred in 2010.
Here’s a quick rundown of what occurred and when it happened:
It is a web design method that prioritises content over anything else. This allows anybody to view a page’s primary content and functionality. At the same time, people with superior browser features or quicker internet rates immediately receive the improved version.
Engineers and developers were already searching for methods to improve general accessibility, content availability, and mobile browser capabilities when developers Steve Champion and Nick Finck presented Inclusive Web Design for the Future in 2003. This new technique to web development was dubbed progressive improvement.
Responsive web design (RWD):
A responsive design ensures that your design looks great on all platforms, including desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Ethan Marcotte produced a blog article titled Responsive Web Design the same year Eric Schmidt launched the significant paradigm shift. These eventually put in motion a series of events that resulted in mobile-first being the design priority in 2022, when “more than ever, we’re producing work designed to be seen along a gradient of diverse experiences.”
The responsive design appears to provide readers with excellent readability and comparable, if not identical, user experiences regardless of device.
On July 1, 2019, Google stated that “mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites.”
This meant that Google primarily indexes and ranks the mobile version of the material. Because most Google Search users access the service via a mobile device, Googlebot now crawls and indexes pages using the smartphone agent.
So, 16 years after the introduction of progressive enhancement and nine years after the significant paradigm shift, Eric Schmidt’s prediction of a mobile-first future became a reality.