Imagine it’s early in the morning. You’re about to leave for work when it hits you: you want a really good breakfast sandwich. Not just any breakfast sandwich, but something that will keep you smiling all day long. Wait – didn’t you see an advertisement for a new breakfast joint in town? Maybe they have something to satisfy your craving! So, you do what anyone would do in your situation. You sit down at your desktop, boot it up, and go to their website.
Just kidding. You—and two billion others like you—are more likely to use your cell phone to find this new breakfast joint. That’s why web designers all over the world are implementing mobile first strategy.
Mobile First Puts Users First
Mobile first is a graphic design strategy that addresses the disconnect between users’ browsing habits and conventional web design practices. (Click here to learn more about graphic design.) Although users’ preference for mobile browsing has been well-documented (52.6% of web traffic comes from cell phones), many websites are still primarily designed for desktops. That means that they will not meet the needs of more than half their visitors, no matter how beautifully they appear on a larger screen.
In contrast, mobile first designers start by creating an efficient mobile site. In line with other responsive design principles, mobile first emphasizes scalable content that displays properly no matter the browsing device. (Click here to learn more about responsive design.) Instead of fitting the content of a desktop site to a cell phone screen, however, this approach starts with the necessities and gradually builds out. In other words, designers tackle the format with the most restrictions and limitations first. Then, they scale that website to fit tablets and desktops with more space for content and/or advertisements. For this reason, mobile first design is more time and cost efficient than conventional design strategies.
Small Screens Need Big Design
To design a website for mobile browsing, you have to start with the basics. This is one reason why minimalist design is so popular among today’s web designers. (Click here to read our blog about minimalist responsive design.)
The first step to creating an efficient mobile site is paring down your website pages. Mobile users can’t “click around” on your website, so a streamlined sitemap is crucial – think 2 or 3 pages. Additionally, these sites need a clear information hierarchy that lets visitors know who you are and what you do. When you have limited space, your call-to-action needs to be the first thing visitors see. Finally, don’t shy away from bold colors and shapes. They help keep visitors engaged and attentive as they move through your site!
If it’s been a while since you had a really good breakfast sandwich.. I mean, since you updated your website, give us a call today! We take a mobile first approach to all web design projects.