For many people, their mobile device is considered a necessity. In fact, most people don’t leave their house without it. Since most of us have our phones on us at all times, it makes sense that we also use them when going online. As mobile usage continues to increase around the world, embracing a mobile-first design can be a highly effective strategy for your website.

What is Mobile-First Design?

Contrary to popular belief, a mobile-first approach is not the same as responsive design. While the two concepts can go hand-in-hand, they are in fact two distinct methodologies.

A website that is responsive adapts automatically to fit the size of the screen it is presented on. The design process typically starts at the maximum resolution (desktop), and then progressively scales down to the smallest resolution (mobile). Although an effective responsive design strategy considers all resolutions throughout the entire process, the design is normally focused on the desktop resolution before mobile is considered.

mobile ui

Mobile-first design, on the other hand, starts the process on mobile, then expands for larger devices. The whole design is structured based on a mobile-friendly experience. Once the design is established on mobile, more elements can be added to the design for higher resolutions.

What Are the Benefits?

Over the last few years, mobile usage has exploded to over 4 billion people worldwide. As such, more and more people are searching the internet with their phones rather than desktops. Having a solid strategy in for mobile is therefore paramount to appeal to the vast majority of users.

Since cell phones are often used more than desktops, overall conversion rates for mobile have increased tremendously. Depending on the nature of your business, you can potentially increase your profits by prioritizing your site’s mobile design. With generally faster download and loading speeds, users can easily access your content and achieve conversion.

Mobile-first design drives designers to prioritize the elements within the user interface. Because there is limited real estate to work with, designers are forced to focus on what is most important and beneficial to the user. In this way, they can create a smooth experience and provide greater clarity for users.

A mobile-first approach gives your website a strong foundation for all other device resolutions. Prioritizing the mobile experience can allow users to get the information they seek more efficiently. By pushing designers to focus on the most essential elements, you can improve the overall user experience and achieve higher rates of conversion for your business.