Over the past several years, people have begun using their mobile devices to view websites more often than using their computers. Initially, many sites responded by creating separate, slimmed-down versions of their websites to be viewed on mobile devices. This strategy made mobile sites clunky and slow. Many weren’t even taking mobile visits into account, so visitors had to scroll endlessly across a website designed to fit a desktop to find the content they were looking for.
Today, we have a wonderful thing called “responsive design.” It means building websites that automatically adjust themselves based on the screen they’re being displayed on. This is incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons, including mobile load time. Responsive sites load faster than ones with dedicated mobile sites because they don’t involve any URL redirects.
In tandem with the development of responsive design has been the emergence of ‘mobile first design.’ This strategy is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, beginning the entire design process with the mobile display.
This strategy has become overwhelmingly popular among website designers, and for good reason. It ensures a pleasurable experience for mobile users and makes life easier for designers.
First, mobile-first design means finishing the most difficult tasks right at the beginning. Once the mobile design has been sorted out, designing for other devices is much simpler. Mobile screens are the smallest of all devices, so their design includes only the essentials. This allows them to serve as the baseline for all of your UX.
Mobile first design forces you to focus on content, and therefore your user. You only include the content that your users are looking for. Avoid adding fluff. All the content on your site should be useful to visitors.
As you move through the design process, you can make additions to appear on larger-screened devices. Be sure to do so in a way that makes your content even more robust so your visitors will find it incredible no matter their device.