In the United States alone, more than 69% of the population uses mobile devices. Including tablets and smartphones, that’s well over half of a target audience who regularly accesses websites, social media, and more, from the mobility of their own hands. What’s more impressive, however, is that stats are far higher overseas, edging up to as much as 87% in Europe.
For web designers and website owners, this news is big. It might not necessarily be new, but it’s facts that shape the very way websites are built and maintained.
The Difference Between Mobile-First and Desktop-First Web Design
Mobile-first web design, also known as responsive web design, is just what its name suggests: design for the mobile device. Sites that enlist these features easily load on mobile devices, they adjust photo and feature size based on a particular screen, and the design moves – or responds – as a user scrolls. In other words, it’s specifically made to cut out laggy, jerky movements that take place when a website is made for a specific type of screen.
(We’ve all been there and know how frustrating it can be!)
In contrast, desktop-first design is made for the computer. Images are a set size and don’t adjust. The same is said for an overall layout. It’s a design where, assuming viewers are logged on from a computer, will have a good experience. However, the desktop-first design doesn’t translate well to smaller screens like mobile devices.
(To see if you have a responsive design, open your website on a desktop and quickly adjust the size of the window. If elements adjust with the size, it’s responsive! You can also ask us, of course.)
Why Mobile-First Design is Important
It’s 2018 and the number of mobile users is only growing. What’s more is that users are accessing websites on the go more frequently. So not only are there more people logging on to websites with smart devices, they’re doing so at a more frequent basis.
Responsive designs load faster, they adjust for the size of a device, and they won’t bog down smart devices with their lack of adaptability. Responsive designs ensure customers are viewing content correctly. And that it loads without long waits, no matter the size of a screen or its location.
Why take the risk of frustrating users, or preventing them to see content at all? Especially when the data shows a steady increase toward mobile usage? It’s a problem alone that can hurt your bounce rates, throw off stats by causing customers to click away, oftentimes before they’ve even had a chance to really take in a website. And as design abilities have adapted to account for this growing trend, really there’s no reason not to opt for mobile first.
Mobile-first design is the way of the future, and it can steadily bring in new viewers, while ensuring quality content that’s properly displayed, no matter what a user is logging on from.
To transfer your own website to a look that’s responsive, get in touch today!
Bethaney Phillips is a freelance writer and editor turned SEO specialist with 10 years of professional digital writing experience. She enjoys working with clients and putting their ideas into informative content. She is also a military spouse entrepreneur advocate, volunteering, and writing in MilSpo spaces. When not working, she can be found chasing around two toddler boys.