WHAT IS MOBILE FIRST?
Since 2010, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, announced that designers must follow the “ Mobile First ” rule in product design. But what does this mean, and how can we implement it in our developments? In this article we share what Mobile First design is and the best tips to apply it in your projects for the remainder of 2019 and what is to come for 2020.
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Mobile is not a trend: it is the present and the future
When we talk about web page design, we generally imagine that users will access it through a desktop computer. However, the reality is that more and more people are using mobile devices to consume web content.
A Mobithinking study revealed the following statistics:
There are currently more than 1.2 billion web users on mobile devices around the world.
In the United States, 25% of web users who use mobile devices do not use desktop computers.
Mobile apps have been downloaded 10.9 billion times.
Mobile device sales continue to grow, with more than 85% of new equipment having Internet accessibility.
As if that were not enough, as of 2016 the use of the Internet through mobile devices exceeded the use of desktops, with 52.6% of the total traffic.
For these reasons, it is clear that the Mobile First principle is of great importance in web and application development.
Mobile First is a design strategy in which the development of the product is mainly focused on its use through mobile devices, and not on desktop computers as it was previously done.
"Gradual Degradation" and "Progressive Improvement"
These two concepts refer to two different ways of approaching web design and development to be mobile friendly.
The Gradual Degradation process starts with a very advanced design , which has all the features and elements available for desktop-oriented design. Some functions are later removed, up to the point where the design is compatible with mobile devices.
In Progressive Upgrade, the process is completely the opposite: it starts with a basic design, designed for optimal functionality on mobile devices. Later, new functionalities begin to be added that will improve the experience on desktop computers.
When talking about Mobile First , the most optimal process is Progressive Improvement. This is because when working with Gradual Degradation it is very common to want to take advantage of all the functionalities available for use on desktops, but the result for mobile devices may not be optimal.
Strategies for creating Mobile First sites
Here is an infographic with seven strategies to create Mobile First sites that provide functionality and design to your users on mobile devices:
For some, the Mobile First process may seem more complicated, due to multiple restrictions such as screen size, fewer resources, and different technologies. However, it is proven that the use of mobile devices will continue to rise in the coming years.
For this reason, developers should take advantage of this challenge and channel their efforts to make websites optimized for mobile devices without losing their functionality and aesthetics.
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