A Beginner’s Guide to Mobile First Design

If you’re not familiar with the concepts of mobile first designadaptive design or responsive design, you need to read on. Why? Because without it, the very survival of your business is at stake.

What is Mobile First Design?

Simply put, mobile first is an approach to responsive design that involves designing for smaller screens first, them adding more features and content for bigger screens. Mobile first is essentially a scaled-down version of a website that will load quickly and perform optimally on small mobile screens.

This means that your website visitors will see different versions of your site, depending on whether they’re looking with their phone, tablet or desktop.

Several years ago, mobile first design wasn’t an issue because most people were still using desktops.

But how times have changed…

Why Mobile First is a No-Brainer

Look around you. Everyone you see seems to be glued to a mobile device. And the statistics overwhelmingly back this up.

Catalyst, a digital performance marketing agency that provides Search and Social marketing information for Fortune 500 companies, releases annual reports about Smartphone adoption and behaviour in Canada. Its 2016 report: “Smartphone Behaviour in Canada and the Implications for Marketers in 2016” revealed that a whopping 76% of Canadians own a Smartphone.

Or to put it another way, 3 out of 4 Canadians own a Smartphone.

This also translates to the fact that Canadian mobile web usage exceeds desktop-based usage. It’s a trend that’s been on the upswing for a number of years, and as such, is something that you as a business owner can’t afford to ignore. Investing in a mobile first design is necessary for your very survival.

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm

As usual, Google is one step ahead in wanting to give its users the best possible experience. And attempting to access a non-mobile-friendly website from a smart phone can be highly frustrating.

As stated in Catalyst’s 2017 report: “The biggest frustration for people using search engines on their smartphones was slow load times, demonstrating what has become almost a digital refrain: companies need to optimize sites and content for mobile audiences.”

Google was already well aware of this fact. In 2015 they released a “mobile-friendly algorithm”, meaning that they favor responsive designed and adaptive designed websites…and penalize those sites that are not mobile friendly. A year later, that algorithm was updated and reinforced, with loading time being one of the factors they look at for ranking.

The Bottom Line

Going mobile first is going to make you more money. Your site will load faster, which will be appreciated by your would-be customers as well as the Google bots.

If you already have a site and you’re not sure if it’s mobile friendly, you can take the Mobile Friendly Test, which will also tell you in detail what issues you might have. But whether you need to fix up an existing site, or you’re looking for a brand new one, the talented team of Montreal Web Developers at Ape Thinker is happy to do all the hard work for you.

Contact us today with your questions or concerns!

Published on 2018-04-04