Implement a Mobile-First Design Strategy
At least 60% of global web traffic is traceable to smartphones and other mobile devices. This emerging reality calls for a shift in mindset among software developers. In the past, implementing software development and testing techniques often embraced a desktop-first mindset. However, modern designers are moving towards a mobile-first-design strategy in response to the paradigm shift.
Today, every new software/application must adopt a mobile-first approach to survive in the rapidly evolving market. But what is a mobile-first design strategy, and how will this strategy affect the future of design, development, and testing?
This article offers an overview of this emerging design and the critical elements of the mobile-first approach.
What is Mobile-First Approach in Software Design?
As the name suggests, the mobile-first approach in software and application development is designed to put mobile phone users and their needs at the center of the research and development process. As such, the entire design and testing process focuses on recurrent tests to ensure that the outcome suits different types of mobile phones in the modern market.
While this doesn’t mean overlooking other devices such as desktops, laptops, and other large digital products, it specializes in delivering the best possible experience for mobile phone users.
A few years ago, it was likely that you could open an application of a website only to realize that the mobile version was unusable. At this point, developers were using a responsive design to create a desktop environment and then to adapt the products for mobile use. The focus on desktops slowly relegated mobile design for applications and software to mere second-tier versions.
The changing scope in continuous design and testing for software and applications has given birth to progressive advancements with the current adoption of mobile-first that opens up the market to open creativity. When compared, it’s clear that the mobile-first design advantages are excellent.
The entry of mobile-first design now makes it possible to drive progressive advancements, focusing on opening the horizons for high-quality and practical software applications. As such, developers and testers consider introducing mobile-first designs as the much-needed solution to the emerging gap in delivering user-friendly web applications.
The Market is now Ripe for Mobile-First Designs
For most old-fashioned designers, accepting the changing scope of software design and development has taken a considerable amount of time. However, the trends speak volumes about the shifts in the market.
For instance, as of 2022, there were more than 3 billion Smartphone owners globally. These numbers drive at least 60% of all web traffic globally. Further, it has been documented that people currently check their phones on average 58 times daily. If these people spend 3 hours on their phones each time, they have them nearby, which speaks volumes about the place of mobile phones in the modern context. The Internet has further emphasized the role of mobile phones in shaping the concept of mobile-first. Today, mobile users browse the internet for news, entertainment, information, and general communication almost anywhere. Whether they are waiting for a doctor’s appointment, on the train, or jogging, phones are constantly among the items you’ll almost always find with them.
It’s no wonder that mobile devices take more than 5 hours in an average person’s everyday life. With this much information, it’s almost certain that developers want to enhance the mobile-first design constantly. Mobile app usage is predicted to grow by 6% per year over the next two years.
Did you know that 54% of all online shopping happens through mobile phones? Such statistics further explain why the mobile-first design’s implementation is due. Designers and developers keen on building high-demand apps and software should embrace this mobile- first design advantage.
Mobile-First Design Advantages
1. Responsive for All Platforms
A core problem with the desktop-first model was the existing limitations across different platforms. The mobile-first strategy's vital benefit is its responsiveness to different platforms. The high level of compatibility with varying platforms affirms its superiority. In most cases, the same design on mobile phones will also be what the users see on the desktop.
The shift toward a responsive model in the design and testing of software further confirms the impact of mobile-first in shaping trends in the industry. Most web designs now automatically adjust to different platforms and screen sizes.
2. Better Information Management
Content is at the core of the modern internet space. However, users want content that solves their concerns without necessarily struggling to make buyer-related decisions. With the mobile-first strategy, there’s simply no room for useless content. The mobile-first design provides information that helps the buyer throughout the purchase process.
This means that the information a mobile phone user needs is easy to access, understand and utilize. With mobile-first designs, the screen is set in a way that makes the text easy to read, with short paragraphs and descriptive content.
3. SEO Ready
Most of the current rankings on SERPs are influenced by the quality of the underlying search engine optimization strategies. Today, adaptive mobile design is critical in shaping your website’s SEO rating. It’s worth noting that search engines such as Google currently use mobile-first indexing as the primary grading premise.
As such, designers who aren’t optimizing for SEO will have a huge problem trying to remain relevant with content. This may result in the loss of potential customers and lead to overall sales declines.
4. Top-Notch User Experience
When designing a website, application, or software, the main focus should be ensuring a top-notch user experience. With the mobile-first strategy, designing a product that best suits the modern user is easy.
A website that’s too hard to use or navigate will probably experience high levels of abandonment. A mobile-first approach ensures that these issues are resolved on the go.
5. Less Buggy
Most mobile websites are simple. This is because these websites use simple code, and, in some cases, they don’t have codes. The fact that the sites can be progressively enhanced means that the end product will be less buggy. In the past, the desktop-first mobile application was marred with bugs due to its inherent designs. However, modern users enjoy a great deal of simplicity and security with the mobile-first approach.
Cons of Mobile-First Design
One of the main setbacks of this design is the restrictive nature salient in the setup. Users may often experience limitations associated with space and creativity. As such, users must be constantly selective with the content they include. This can be a significant turnoff for web designers who want to utilize many design elements.
Further, while the design may have easy-to-navigate prompts for experienced users, it may pose a challenge for first-time users needing more time to get accustomed to the design.
Mobile-First is the Future of Software and Web Designs
A mobile-first strategy can only grow more popular in the future. As more users embrace smartphones and the benefits of these devices, it’s time to embrace the mobile-first strategy. With this concept, users enjoy more straightforward navigation, fewer bugs, and convenience.
Kobiton prides itself on being amongst the top-rated mobile-first testing platforms today. Our ability to deliver faster release cycles sets us apart from our competitors. You can call our team of experienced staff today for more information and questions, purchases, or orders.