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Importance of Mobile-First Design
03 Jan 2022

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Importance of Mobile-First Design

A major component of effective product design is a mobile-first design. Designers may focus on the essential functionalities of their product by designing for the smaller displays first and then working their way up. For example, you may determine the most critical UX components of your product by focusing on the core of your product and removing the rest. Then, when you start designing for larger displays, you may add more components to compliment the product or service's primary functionalities.

Today, 2 billion individuals solely use their smartphones to access the internet. That percentage is anticipated to rise to 72.5 percent by 2025. This indicates that designing for mobile is crucial for users to have a satisfying experience.  This is evident in Dubai where there are many Mobile app development agency in Dubai and we are at the forefront of it. Let's understand why a mobile-first approach is so important.


What is mobile-first design?

what is mobile first design

Mobile-first design attempts to improve user experiences by first starting the design process with mobile devices in mind, with the smaller screens frequently being prioritized. 

This mobile-first method is based on the notion of progressive progression, which states that when a designer prototypes or sketches a website layout, they start with how it would appear on a mobile device screen and work their way up to larger displays afterward. 

UX designers must prioritize the most critical parts of their product due to the limited screen size on a small mobile screen. Designers may now provide the right user experience to the right device using this approach.

Designing for different devices gets easier once the mobile design challenge is understood. The simplest designs will just contain the most necessary elements, so you'll have developed the core of your UX straight immediately.

Starting with smaller displays imposes constraints such as bandwidth, screen resolution, and restricted or no multitasking features, requiring designers to concentrate on building a lean product with important functions emphasized. However, designers may take advantage of the platform's unique characteristics when expanding to a tablet or PC. You may expand the functionality with more pieces and functions on bigger devices as screen size becomes available.

The antithesis of gentle degradation is progressive progression, which starts with a bigger screen and works backward to the smallest. In this thinking style, a designer integrates all of a product's complexity from the beginning and then takes them away later for smaller devices.

The problem with this technique is that when you start with an all-encompassing design, the main and supplemental parts blend and become more difficult to differentiate and separate when the experience is scaled down from desktop to mobile. This makes mobile design an "afterthought," which has been shown to repeatedly degrade the mobile user experience.

So, why mobile-first?

So, why mobile-first?

As previously stated, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage. In 2025, 72.5 percent of individuals will only use their phones to access the internet, demonstrating the significance of having a great mobile user experience. Customers are also more inclined to shop and return to businesses with mobile-friendly websites.

Another advantage of focusing on mobile-first design is that Google favors mobile-friendly websites in its algorithm. So while organic traffic from search engines is important for most businesses' success, paying attention to Google's algorithm's preferences is in your product's discoverability best interest.

In addition, starting in 2012, smartphone sales overtook personal computer sales. Smartphones are being purchased faster than desktop computers, and consumers are spending more time on the internet from their mobile devices, driving up demand for simplified mobile user experiences.

Finally, corporations now spend more money on smartphone advertising than television, which is another argument for mobile-first design. Companies are expected to market items via smartphones rather than television advertisements, found in a 2019 projection.  The most popular approach to contact customers is through social media sponsored advertisements featuring engaging visuals.


Role of content in a mobile-first approach

Role of content in a mobile-first approach

It's important to remember that content is king when designing for mobile-first. Using a content-first approach, designers should provide their consumers with only the information they require. Anything else might obstruct and detract from the mobile experience.

Mobile-first design includes limitations such as screen size and bandwidth, leading to poor prioritization by designers. These strict constraints drive designers to eliminate any unnecessary components to concentrate on the fundamentals. However, just because an element isn't required doesn't mean it isn't useful; it indicates that it isn't required for mobile design.

Many components are typically eliminated from mobile designs yet remain in the desktop version. This is because the material is contextually dependent. In addition, a mobile user's requirements are generally different from those of a desktop user.

Mobile sites, for example, are more likely to feature collapsible menus and widgets, whereas desktop sites have more whitespace and better quality visual components, such as higher-resolution images. In addition, on desktop websites, full-size imagery, such as advertising and promotional material, is used. Still, on mobile devices, full-size imagery is stripped, or in some cases, totally deleted.

Additionally, on a desktop, a user may be searching for more in-depth information or extra functionality that would be inappropriate in a mobile-first design. Extensive and granular spreadsheets, for example, are generally accessed through desktops, whereas mobile designs tend to be less detailed in their database presentation.


Principles of mobile-first design

It's critical to remember the following design concepts while developing for mobile-first:

Users are at the core of the design

Users are at the core of the design

Your design must assist users in swiftly and efficiently solving an issue or completing a job. Keep in mind that your design must be comfortable for them while you create your user flows. As you identify a user's pain issues, consider the probable interactions between them and your app. Examine your competitors' mobile websites to see what mobile-friendly choices they don't provide and incorporate those into your design.

Visual content hierarchy

Your material should be brief and to the point. It's critical to focus on giving the consumer exactly what they want while avoiding unnecessary fluff. The visual hierarchy of your content should explain the order of significance to the viewer and clarify which components are most significant and secondary.

Keep your titles at the top of the page, with a content sample above the fold. This allows visitors to comprehend and view the material quickly. The scannability of your page is also improved by breaking up lengthy text into several one-sentence chunks.

Maintain simplicity

A basic mobile design is an excellent approach to increasing information clarity while also focusing on the most important material. As a result, only include items on your mobile site that you require to prevent distracting visitors.

The following are some basic ways to keep it simple:

  • Getting rid of some of the links in your navigation menu
  • Using the fewest number of pages necessary.
  • At most, there should be two columns of content.
  • Make sure your font isn't too tiny for mobile.
  • To make the layout less crowded and more readable, use white space.

Clear, bold, and consistent CTAs 

Having a clear, bold, and consistent CTA makes it easier for users to find them. Failure to do so may result in the loss of important leads and a reduction in conversions. As a result, make sure your CTAs are eye-catching and difficult to overlook.

Site loading speed 

When consumers have a bad experience with a website, 79% of shoppers are less inclined to buy from that website again. As a result, the performance of your mobile site, especially the splash screen, is critical. It should not take more than three seconds to load, as people will abandon the site if it takes longer fully.

This is why removing all superfluous components from mobile-first elements works to your advantage.

Compressing your pictures to reduce file size while preserving quality is one way to enhance load speed. The use of "lazy loading" aids in loading website items in a sequential manner rather than all at once. Finally, make the transition to the encrypted HTTPS protocol, which is quicker, more secure, and can help with SEO.


The design process in the mobile-first approach

Let's get started with the mobile-first design process now that you know the concepts to bear in mind when creating.

Organize your content: To begin, get organized by making a spreadsheet with all of the design components you want to incorporate. For example, is this a reservation page? Is there a page dedicated to privacy? Do you have a company history?

Prioritize content hierarchy: This is where the visual hierarchy of content comes into play. Now that you have your content inventory list, prioritize the pieces and decide how to showcase the most important ones prominently. 

Make sure CTAs and other touchpoints are bigger on mobile than they are on desktop. On mobile, bigger touch targets are required since fingers are considerably broader than a mouse cursor. Touch targets should be at least 44 pixels square, according to Apple.

Start with the smallest breakpoints: Create a mobile wireframe first, then utilize it as a foundation for bigger breakpoints.

Remove hovers: Because there is no hover control on mobile, ensure sure your design doesn't rely on this sort of interaction.

Remove large images: When viewed on a mobile device, large visuals, such as landscape pictures, do not appear properly. There isn't enough screen real estate to do huge visuals justice, and as a result, the user experience suffers.

Test on a real device

Test on a real device

It's ideal to go away from your desktop computer and test your product on a real phone. As you go through the sites, you'll see if it's simple to use and loads quickly while still being easy to understand for the user. This will provide insight into your design's usefulness. You may also do user testing to obtain detailed user feedback.

Making your product and brand mobile-first is a great approach to ensure their success. It's a wonderful method to comprehend and focus on the entire user experience for your visitors by stripping down the components to the bare necessities. 

It is no surprise that most industry leaders focus on this design concept since it makes it simpler to progress your design to larger devices as you go into tablet and desktop.


Royex Technologies is a leading E-commerce Development Company in Dubai with certified developers who can bring reality to any of your ideas.  If you need an eCommerce website that gets a lot of traffic, feel free to call us at +971566027916 or mail us at and we can send you a proposal based on your idea.

About the Author

Shams Mohammed

Shams Mohammed works as a Digital Marketer for Royex Technologies. He has over 5 years of experience as digital marketer with special focus on lead generation and brand awareness. He has undertaken several projects and delivered them successfully and wishes to continue developing and growing as a successful Digital Marketer.

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