When you’re browsing pages on-the-go, you’ve probably left a site in frustration simply because it wasn’t working for you. You might not be able to put your finger on it, but it just feels like the site wasn’t built for you to view or navigate on your phone.
Mobile-first has become the trending approach in UI/UX design and is fast establishing itself as an industry best practice. With over 1.2 billion mobile web users in the digital world, it’s no surprise that the web development market has shifted its attention to the small screen and the mobile-first approach does just that. More than just visually fitting your site for the small screen, adopting a mobile-first method means taking into consideration functionality, load time and the responsiveness of your site. What does it mean for your business operations if you choose to go mobile first?
Get a wider audience
It would make very little business sense not to tap on mobile users to extend your products and services – especially when close to 90% of the country uses their smartphones regularly, as reported in a smartphone penetration survey by Deloitte’s Global Technology, Media and Telecommunication. Mobile phones users cover a good age range from 15 to 55 (Source) as millennials and baby boomers alike shuffle between desktop computers and their smartphones to remain connected throughout the day. As 34% of Singaporeans switch their Internet usage from computers to mobile, building your site for mobile users first will give you early access to a significant consumer base.
Simplify your process
Creating your site with mobile devices as a priority forces you to take a good, hard look at your process and the information that is vital for your audience. In the case of e-commerce, for example, a mobile design demands that designers remove all clutter and focus on the key steps in order to make a sale. Business owners will have to truly ensure that the end-to-end process is compact enough to be built into mobile devices. This scaling down exercise can be highly useful in terms of business development as it gives you a good understanding of your core functions in the business.
Improve your process as you go bigger
The minimalist approach that comes with a mobile-first design births another concept – progressive enhancement. This is the idea of adding on functionalities or enhancing the site as you build for larger screens. When creators build with the desktop page as a foundation, there is a tendency to overcomplicate the site due to an array of design options available. In progressive enhancement, designers are building on a strong yet simple foundation that captures the essential aspects of your site. Building upwards from the mobile site brings to life a richer version with key elements that have already been identified. Always better than trying to fit Frankenstein into a box.
Review your marketing strategy
Going mobile-first has direct implications on how you market, brand and define your digital strategy. Mobile-centric designs are definitely visual, with on-the-go users who may not have the time or interest to indulge in content-heavy pages. Your method of communication becomes concise and minimal while maximising impact to send the same message. In terms of your marketing strategy, this could mean budgeting for more digital banners, graphic design and even EDMs. Choosing mobile first is not just about the platform, it’s also about the overall business development and approach.
Traditionally, designers have built for larger screens and scaled down. Today, the reverse has become the dominant approach. Don’t be afraid to focus on mobile users and build up – but keep in mind that responsive design covers more ground and should be developed concurrently.
At Krome, we specialise in website design and development services. If you or your client are interested in creating a site, it’s time to tell us about your project or have a chat about what we can do. You can contact us here.