MobileFirst- Is it Really the Future?

Web Development - July 20th, 2014

The world is evolving and so are people. Technology has truly changed the way we access information and communicate with each other. 53% of adults access the web through mobile devices. 31% of mobile users access the web primarily through their smart phones. The CISCO Vrtual Networking Index (VNI predicts that there will be nearly 3 billion Internet users --more than 40 percent of the world's projected population by 2015.

A global trend that is slowly catching up and will only grow in the coming years is the development of mobile-friendly websites that prioritize the mobile contents and target the people who use their mobiles to access net. Why? The first and foremost reason for this sudden change in the approach is that it allows websites to reach more users as 77% of the population has a mobile device and prefers accessing internet on their mobiles. From a designer point of view, this will help them to focus on core content functionality and also to innovate and practice new technologies like geolocation, touch events etc.

Along with the technical advantages, from a design perspective, a mobile first approach helps in creating websites that are user-friendly and convenient to navigate. With roughly 80% of the screen size taken away when you start with mobile first design, you have to think about how to utilize your space in a much more conservative manner. This helps in keeping the core concept of the website in the forefront without flooding it with superfluous amounts of fillers.

However, as the universal truth stands, every coin has two sides and the other side of MobileFirst designs poses some questions to ponder over. Responsive web design is relatively a new technology; and still there are some outdated devices with old browsers that load the website too slowly or even not fully. Mobile is a completely different experience than desktop, so having a single, even responsive website may harm your overall web experience on both platforms. If you try to satisfy both mobile and desktop users with the same user interface, you may end up satisfying no one. From a designing perspective, while the CSS elements on a website can be made responsive, the HTML and JavaScript contents would take more time to download making the user’s web experience tiresome and exasperating. 

So, the next time you are designing a website, make sure you keep in mind these things about this new-age concept. It may not be the immediate future, but one cannot blindfold others to the amazing growth and figures that mobile internet holds upon. However, a designer who believes in the traditional methods of designing may find the MobileFirst hysteria overhyped. Now the choice is all yours!    


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