Mobile First is a web design and layout trend aimed at prioritizing display on mobile devices. The pages of a website are designed for smartphones and tablets and then they are adapted to desktop format. This design philosophy is extremely important today, mainly for the following reasons:
- The use of mobile phones to visit websites is increasing. In the United States, in 2021 mobile phones generated more than half of the general web traffic, gaining ground over computers.
- Google and other search engines currently prioritize sites whose content focus on mobile formats.
It is essential that users feel comfortable when they visit your website, that the design is attractive, friendly and useful. The goal is always to enhance user experience. In this sense, the mobile approach can help you prevent some mistakes that designers often make when adapting their platforms to mobile.
At Huenei we have extensive experience working on mobile development for our clients. Would you like to know about our works? We’d like to briefly tell you about some of them …
- Falabella Mobile. We worked on the development of a native e-commerce application for different operation systems for Falabella, one of the main retailers in Latin America.
- Supervielle Mobile. We developed a phone application for Banco Supervielle, which allowed the company to offer customers the best user experience.
- UX/UI Design for Mobile App. We helped YPF Argentina improve the experience of their employees through the development of a mobile application to manage the inventory of oil supplies.
Is Mobile First the same as Responsiveness?
This is a very common question and possibly a doubt that arises when analyzing the definition we provide above. The answer is: No, mobile first is not the same as responsiveness.
Responsive design is an opposite design philosophy. It focuses on adapting to mobile format the content of a web page that was originally designed for desktop. These are adaptive web pages –for example, the resolution and the size of the content are reduced. On the other hand, the mobile first concept seeks to improve the web experience for phone and tablet users. Its main objective is for the mobile user to have the same browsing experience as a user who is from their desktop would have. Everything has to adapt: buttons, images, links, etc.
Mobile First and its relationship with Apps.
This design philosophy is especially reflected in the development of mobile applications. Depending on the operating system, an app follows a series of visual standards that allow optimal performance and design in the phone and tablet environments. The user interface of an app is extremely important for user experience, so we recommend taking into account the user’s profile and the specific needs of the operating system. It is important to consider simplicity. You can differentiate your app from others by stripping unnecessary elements, privileging content and usefulness.
Mobile UI trends.
First of all, there are certain general trends in mobile interface design that have gained popularity in recent years due to the improvement in the experience they offer to users. Users got used to applications and web pages designed from these principles.
- Minimalism: less is more. Minimalism is a trend that in recent years has become stronger and stronger. It refers to the graphic elements taken to their minimum expression in terms of textures and colors. Any decorative element that is not necessary to convey the message is eliminated.
- Dark mode is here to stay. This functionality was created so that users could use their cell phones in low light environments, but evidence shows that many choose to use their phone in dark mode regardless of the lighting conditions. This trend has been increasing and generating a great impact. In addition to reducing battery consumption, dark backgrounds allow other elements to stand out more, creating a higher contrast ratio.
We’d also like to tell you about trends related to the optimization of user waiting and the manipulation and use of apps and web pages.
- Swiping instead of clicking. It is becoming more and more common for cell phone software developers to remove physical buttons and replace them with finger actions. A clear example of this trend, which has been around for some years, is Apple’s elimination of the central button on iPhones.
- Animations and transition effects to liven up the wait. By incorporating effects and entertaining elements into the loading of apps and websites, user waiting can become a dynamic way to guide the navigation flow.
As a general conclusion of what we were discussing, we could say that nowadays the design of platforms must be primarily focused phones and tablets. In this sense, we need to plan our designs specifically for mobile devices. Desktop is still an important screen, but we have to focus especially on mobile devices to achieve a better user experience.