Best Mobile First Design Strategies in 2023

by | Dec 13, 2022

Mobile devices have become the catalysts for digital evolution. Billions of mobile users are continuously searching for different websites on their mobile devices. Mobile first design approach was developed as an outcome of this increased usage of mobile devices, which made designers rethink the way they are traditionally used in various types of website designs. This guide will help you understand why mobile-first website design is essential and how to optimize your websites according to this approach.

mobile first design

What is Mobile First Design?

Mobile-first design is a web design approach in which designers first optimize their website’s appearance and design for mobile devices instead of PCs, Laptops, Tablets, etc. It ensures that essential elements of a website are easily viewable for mobile screen users and makes it convenient for them to navigate a website.

While designing a website according to the mobile-first approach, designers take into account the space limitations with smaller screens and the eye focus of users. Designing this way helps to make a website mobile-friendly.

Learn More: How to Make a Website Mobile-Friendly.

Why is Mobile First Design Important for Designers?

Many designers refute the idea of mobile-first design as they believe it doesn’t show contribute much to a website’s success. However, studies and research have proven that this approach significantly impacts customers. This approach aims to enhance user experience (UX) according to the gadgets they use to access your website. Moreover, google’s algorithm also prefers websites optimized for mobile experiences. Therefore, to improve your SEO, you have to adopt the MFD approach nowadays.

Mobile First Design

There is a vast difference between mobile and other devices’ screen space and resolution, so optimizing a page according to a smaller screen makes better sense. A mobile phone user will find it challenging to navigate a website if the design is laptop or PC oriented. Moreover, the positions of essential buttons could be misplaced if a bigger screen’s design opens up on your mobile. Therefore, this approach helps the end user a lot if used correctly.

Mobile-First Approach vs Responsive Web Design

You must be wondering why mobile design prioritization is essential when we already have responsive web design terminology. Well, there is a difference between the two terms, which one must understand. A responsive site design is receptive, which means that it is planned to work swiftly on various gadgets and is designed that way. It is a versatile design approach and can change its appearance and layout according to the screen size of different devices.

Mobile First Design

On the other hand, in a mobile first design approach, the designer plans the website design according to the mobile screen size first and then eventually moves on to optimizing it for other devices. It is a more technical and modern approach to website design. However, both terminologies can be mutually inclusive. A mobile-first design could be responsive, and a responsive web design could benefit mobile screen users as much as it benefits larger screen users.

Also, Read about the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development in 2022.

Top 5 Mobile First Design Principles

Like other methodologies, this approach also has a model of 5 basic principles that help in implementing it. Here is a list of 5 principles of the mobile-first design approach.

  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Optimized Content
  • Simplicity in Design
  • CTAs
  • Website’s Speed of Loading

1- User-Friendly Interface

The first principle focuses on creating a user-friendly interface. It means that design must address users’ problems and effectively solves them. UI makes up a considerable portion of UI’s success. A good user interface will increase your users’ experience and conversion rate.

Read more about Best Practices for UI and UX.

2- Optimized Content

The content should be optimized in a way that it is clear and concise, and easily readable by the viewer. The content’s visual hierarchy portrays the order of importance of certain elements. Using long paragraphs is not considered a good practice. You need to increase the scalability and scannability of your page.

3- Simplicity in Design

Simplicity is a top priority, whether in content creation or design creation. A website with over-the-top graphics and layout is usually disliked by most of the audience. Therefore, in mobile first design, you have to take care of certain rules of design. Such as typography that is easily readable by mobile users, making the layout less clustered, using fewer pages, etc.

Mobile First Design

4- CTAs

This approach also has a principle for showing CTAs on your webpage. Bold and consistent CTAs are better for your website design as they are easier for users to locate. CTAs need to be highlighted for the customers.

5- Website’s Speed of Loading

The last and most important principle is the website’s loading speed. Poor website performance or low-quality images on the website gives a bad impression to your users. The speed of the website loads on mobile is very important so that you do not lose the attention span of mobile users. Various tools can help in page speed optimization.

Relation between mobile-first design and accessibility

Mobile first design is somehow connected to the accessible design approach. The reason is the principles between mobile first design and accessible design overlap. It is due to the ability of this approach to be small screen friendly and represent a hierarchy of content that it is also an accessible design approach. This method of designing websites focuses on enhancing user experience by making every part of your webpage easily available to readers. Content accessibility is a major part of a good design approach. Therefore, mobile first design is the best way to achieve accessibility.

Mobile First Design

How to Test a Mobile-First Design?

There is also a way to test the efficiency of mobile-first design-based websites. Testing a design means pointing out hidden bugs or software malfunctions in it. UI/UX designers use specific methods to gain insights into the quality of their design. Let’s have a look at how you can test an MFD.

1- Web Testing Tools

Similar to any other design approach, in which we have tools to help us scale the efficiency and quality of our final product, there are also tools for the mobile first design techniques. These tools have certain extremely important features which reveal how the website will look on a mobile device. These tools are also helpful in debugging, providing analytics for performance reports, and increasing predictability.

2- Usability Testing

Website usability testing is used to determine how easier it is for your end users to interact with your website. This is another practice that enhances your user experience (UX). There are also different types of usability testing methods i.e, Assessment, Explorative, Validation, and Comparative. This is another great way to test your mobile-first designed website.

3- Cross Browser Testing

Cross-browser testing is a method involved with breaking down your site on various objective programs, working frameworks, and resolutions. For a long-lasting and successful mobile-first design, it ought to deliver as expected on a versatile screen regardless of which device it is being used on. Cross-browser testing searches for issues with the components of a site page regardless of whether they can be running on it and calls attention to the cross-program similarity issues.

4- A/B Testing

A/B Testing is a kind of variety testing or split testing that shows various varieties of a page to various sections of clients. Site proprietors then break down the presentation of the two variants and pick the better-performing one. To comprehend how we are veering off-track and which components need changes, we can pick the Heatmap tools. Heatmap permits the web application proprietors to see the client’s commitment to the site page and what part they are disregarding.

Read more about: 9 Best Website Heatmap Tools to Use in 2022

5- Network Performance

Network performance can be executed on a genuine gadget by exchanging connections or through a web-based device that gives such elements. To test the page load speed, a significant obstacle is a network. A slow network implies slower downloading of pages and more page load time. For this reason, network performance is used to solve network issues of a website.

6- Html and CSS

Since a website page is delivered or parsed by the program and not gathered, blunders and alerts don’t prevent a site page from stacking. Cross-program testing yet can’t find an issue with a missing component that is, for the most part, an off-base syntax structure shortcoming. Such grammar mistakes and not observing the W3C web guidelines can land us in a difficult situation when we progress from portable first to finish work area plans.

HTML and CSS code is exceptionally simple to approve. There are a ton of devices accessible that can finish this work for us, such as the W3CMarkup Validator and W3C CSS Validator.

Hire the best MFD web developers through ENOU by visiting this page.

Benefits & Drawbacks of MFD

While this approach has countless benefits and is preferred to be used while designing websites nowadays, a few minor drawbacks must be known before using it. Let’s go through the benefits as well as drawbacks of this terminology.

Benefits

  • As 50% of internet users access it via mobile device, a mobile first design is appealing to the majority.
  • With this approach, web designers have to prioritize content and only include the relevant and necessary information in a design.
  • In this design, you use a less complex code structure for your website, which makes it easier to debug.
  • It is also more responsive as well as accessible.
  • The practices used in this approach make the website loading speed decrease.
  • Your SEO is improved by using a mobile first technique of design.
  • Images are able to load faster on your user’s mobile devices.

Drawbacks

  • Web designers do not find it easy to work with this approach as they have to change their previous patterns of design.
  • Using this approach requires more thinking from the designers to create a better UX.
  • You have to be very selective of the content you use due to space issues.
  • It also requires detailed planning before beginning the process.

10 Mobile-first Design Best Practices in 2022

Wondering what the best method to take full advantage of MFD is? Let’s look at these mobile first design best practices that are also the latest in the market.

  • Include highly visible and consistent elements to your page.
  • Use intuitive navigation on your website.
  • Work on improving your page’s loading speed.
  • Avoid using large images or graphics as you’re designing it for smaller screens.
  • While designing your CTAs, look out for the colors and shape of the buttons, clear text, and ideal positioning.
  • Incorporate user feedback in the design.
  • As you have a small canvas, make all the elements of the website visible.
  • Prioritize content, then start working.
  • Avoid having unnecessary and disruptive popups on the screen that might drive the customers away.
  • Use beta testing before launching the website.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we gained a brief overview of the mobile first design and why it is important to implement it nowadays. Loosely defined, MFD is a simple design approach focused on creating valuable UX for mobile website users for the reason that most of the website traffic is generated through mobile devices.

With a bunch of benefits obtained from this approach, its drawbacks can be overlooked. Prioritizing design for mobile is the new trend. For a website’s success, staying relevant in the market is necessary. Even though web designers still prefer to follow their old technique of designing, there are fresh web designers available in the market who can optimize and customize your website according to MFD. If you want to hire a web developer to implement a mobile-first design, visit ENOU’s website to learn about our services.

FAQs

What is Mobile First design CSS?

CSS is a sheet language that helps in optimizing how Html elements will be displayed on the screen. It is best to use in mobile apps because it works fast and provides a good quality experience. Mobile first design used CSS to create websites for mobile interfaces. You can use Purge CSS and Koala for CSS designing.

Which websites are using mobile-first design?

Some best examples of websites using mobile first design are:
Google Maps
Etsy
Buzzfeed
ABC
SAP
Indiamart
Idig Marketing

Why Google is using the mobile first strategy?

In 2010, Google adopted the mobile first strategy and became the first big company to publicly announce this strategy. This strategy was adopted because Google saw a surge in web traffic through mobile devices. Still, the customers complained of poor website performance because the sites were not optimized according to mobile user experience.

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