What does “mobile-first” mean?
“Mobile-first” is the principle of creating web pages focused primarily on the mobile device experience. It is linked to “Responsive Web Design”, a method that enables websites to adjust to the screens of different devices automatically. The goal is to display content in a way that makes users feel comfortable and reduces their needs to pan, zoom, and scroll when browsing the web.
If you have a responsive site where the primary content and markup is equal across mobile and desktop, don’t worry! You shouldn’t have to change anything. But if you want to be sure, you can always resort to the tool kindly provided by Google itself.
Why is “mobile-first” important?
Every day the number of users visiting web resources from mobile devices is growing. In response to this, Google has been increasingly giving preference to mobile-friendly pages, first introducing the plan in 2016. Google explained that its algorithms would eventually be shifted to use the mobile version of a website’s content to index pages. This means that the search ranking of sites will be affected by how well they are adapted for mobile devices.
How to approach the mobile-first web development?
First of all, you need to think about how it would be convenient to place mobile navigation. The menu should be simple and functional.
It’s important that menus contain a high-level overview of the products and services you offer to allow visitors to narrow down what they’re looking for.
You need to think about the hierarchy of content on the page. Since you have less space for information on a mobile device than on a desktop, you need the most important piece of content to be on top. Then the next, and then the next.
The third, but no less important, step is the speed of page loading. Since time is the most precious resource, you should pay attention to the speed of loading your page. Here you can use the tool from Google and get valuable recommendations for improving the download speed for your site.
Design with thumbs in mind
Do not forget how users interact with your site on their mobile devices. You should remember that the buttons and input fields must be of such a size that the user can easily activate the element with a simple finger tap. The most common complaints of visitors to sites without adaptive design is that they can not get their finger on the desired element on the page.
Make it easy to contact you
And of course there is no sense in making the site user-friendly if a visitor can not contact you quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to place links in the navigation in such a way that the user can easily find them and get in touch with you easily and quickly. You can also place adaptive and convenient forms to facilitate communication with you. It’s important that you utilize different field types in your form, such as dropdowns, checkboxes.
Do not forget that your main goal is to provide the user with what he/she is looking for when he/she comes to your site. When creating websites, think about the people for whom they were originally developed. If you keep this in mind, you can easily follow the principle of “mobile-first."