Mobile-First Web Design and Why It Matters
Mobile-first web design is huge. Some marketers and website owners don’t realize its importance until they visit a cluttered website on their mobile devices themselves.
And for some marketers, reading the staggering statistics about mobile-friendly web design is eye-opening. So I thought it would be a good idea to discuss its importance today.
In 2010, then Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced important news about web design. He stated that moving forward, website designers should put mobile-first.
Imagine for a second how life was 11 years ago. The iPhone was relatively new, and other smartphones were just getting into the market. And most of the web traffic was desktop.
Fast forward to 2021, meeting a person who doesn’t own a smartphone is very rare. This rapid change has also caused a lot of audiences to reach the web from mobile devices rather than desktops. Because of this, mobile users have also become a priority for website owners.
52.2% of all global web traffic in 2018 was via mobile devices. This stat alone should compel you to consider mobile users.
So you’ve seen how you can’t rely on desktop users alone. Now let’s get into more details:
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What Is It?
Mobile-first web design is exactly what the name says. It’s the process of sketching, prototyping, and designing the website for mobile devices first and then scaling it for other larger devices, such as desktops. Because of this method, you give the right User Experience (UX) to the right screen.
Now you might think that we can start from desktop and move to mobile from there. But if you consider the given small space of mobile devices, it will make sense to start from them. This way, you can give a better UX by creating a strong base from the most important parts of the website.
There are other strategies, such as responsive or adaptive design strategies. Mobile-first is somewhat a replacement for them because designers using these strategies focus on the desktop first and then change the design to fit a smaller screen. This decreases the priority for smaller screens.
The Benefits of Putting Mobile First
So what Google announced in 2010 seemed more like a recommendation. But their 2018 announcement sounded more like a warning. After 8 years, they showed full seriousness when they said they now use mobile-first indexing for over half of all web pages globally.
It simply means that Google will look at the mobile version of a website to rank it on their SERPs before the desktop version. It opened plenty of opportunities for web designers who were using mobile-first web design to get higher Google rankings.
More people are converting on desktop than mobiles globally. If we look at the figures, the desktop is converting at around 3.82%, and mobile is at 1.32%.
Now someone new to marketing will just focus on the desktop after reading these figures. But considers these two things:
- The gap between these two conversions is slowly closing because more mobile users are adding to these conversions each day.
- If you are a marketing veteran, you’ll know that conversions are so hard. You work effortlessly on different marketing channels with one goal in mind; people will buy your products or services. So when you add mobile conversions to desktop conversions, the overall conversion rate becomes 5.14%, which is quite an improvement.
So it’s clear that you can increase conversions using a mobile-first strategy. And don’t think you’ll be wasting your resources on this method because eventually, there will be more and more people accessing your website using their mobile phones.
Mobile-First Is Content-First
If you are related to digital marketing in any way, you’d know the importance of content. I can start talking about inbound and outbound marketing, but it will be an entirely different topic. So let’s just say that the content vital to an online business’ growth.
Plus, consider the search intent of people who land on your website. When people search on desktops, they look for more detailed information. On mobile, they might be looking for short and snappy solutions.
So you need to consider these tiny details when designing a website. Content should be dealt with great care. What is most important to a user? Figure it out and make it accessible easily on mobile devices. It will make UX a lot simpler.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should delete every functionality. You just need to think about what’s important to your users and prioritize it.
Mobile-First Web Design Principles
- Content-first design is necessary because of the less space available.
- Keep the design simple. Remember that people are not using a cursor here as they do on a desktop. So avoid things like popups.
- Load time is crucial. Bounce rates on mobile are more than on the desktop. So make sure that your website’s performance is exceptional.
- Grab their attention quickly. Like I was saying that the bounce rates are higher, you need to hook them quickly. You can do this using captivating visuals.
- Prioritize contact information. Conversion rates can be improved if you consider that people want to contact you. So give them a live chat feature that works well on a mobile browser.
In simple words, neglecting mobile-first web design can cost you a lot. After all, your priority should be giving a great user experience. Mobile-first is a step towards that.
Do you have any questions about website design?
Or do you want to share your thoughts on different design elements of a website?
Please do so in the comment section below!