The Benefits of a Mobile First Design
The world is undergoing a major shift in the way it experiences the web. Every UI designer needs to know that with more than 1.2 billion people using the web from mobile devices (check these amazing stats), “Mobile First Design” is not the wave of the future - it’s happening.
Following Google’s recent announcement, many companies have announced that they will also start designing their websites for the mobile web first, the desktop second. If your company plans to follow Google’s lead, you will need to hire a web designer who feels excited about this philosophy, not restricted by it.
That restricted feeling is one common worry you might hear from a UI designer about mobile first design. Web designers who have been around for years are used to having a bigger canvas with more toys work with. While Design Shack’s Joshua Johnson certainly feels this way, he explains that going lean is a good thing - the necessary thing. Mobile first design means you start out with the small screen in mind, then tweak for bigger screens, as opposed to the other way around (which is how it currently happens for many companies as a matter of retrofitting).
Sure, the desktop is not going away anytime soon, even though the mobile web is exploding exponentially. Nevertheless, the number of people who only use their mobile device to access the web is growing. If you look back at that infographic, you’ll see that a full 25 percent of U.S. That number is expected to climb, and is already even larger in other areas of the world. When you hire a web designer, choose someone who can finesse the best out of both formats so that the user has a great experience either way.
So the truth is, going lean with a mobile first design philosophy will be good for everybody, and a good UI designer will run with this. When you consider that mobile web users are extremely impatient, having a useful, fast-loading mobile site is absolutely critical to your site’s success (and even your success as a company). In a recent New York Times article, Microsoft computer scientist Harry Shum explained that literally 250 milliseconds slower or faster than a competing page will make all the difference in whether a mobile user decides to stick with your site, or move on to the other guy.
With web surfers’ expectations of speed and mobility growing and their patience shrinking, a mobile first design strategy can even help the desktop version of your website. While earlier incarnations of the web thrived on bells and whistles, more and more people are driven by the need for speed - the need to be able to accomplish something quickly and without undue distractions.
Your audience isn’t going to wait more than a few seconds for anything to load, so hire a web designer who understands that mobile first design is a future-oriented starting point. Your website users will thank you.
Andrea M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
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