Sep 22, 2022 • 5 min read
A layman may not be familiar with the concept of Interfaces. For designers and developers, however, it is a key concept and principle that needs to be followed to create a substantial website.
If we talk about a decade or two back, websites were made with the intention of being viewed primarily through the web (kind of justified why they named it a “website”). If we talk about this era where digitalization is at its peak, mobile-first websites are the need of the hour.
Mobiles have truly revolutionized the way we consume media. If we talk about the general public, everyone seems to do everything on their phones. From watching the news to reading articles to maintaining full-fledged excel sheets, mobile has garnered our admiration in every facet of life.
Let us ask you 2 questions – When you get up in the morning what is the first thing that wakes you up? Your alarm is on your phone, right? Well, what is the last thing you do before going to sleep? Perhaps playing some soothing melodies on your phone or playing videos of meditation to help you unwind. As much as we are aware of how it is not conducive to our health, our patterns with our mobile phones more or less remain constant. Even though the whole concept and approach toward mobile-first websites are relatively new, it is one that will triumph over the coming decade.
Mobile-first websites are exactly what it sounds like – prioritizing the design as well as the development of websites for mobile devices and working your way up from there. Herein, websites are designed and developed in a fashion for them to be consumed firstly on a mobile device and secondarily on a desktop.
The first question that may pop up in your mind may be “Why? Why do we need mobile-first websites? Can’t normal websites suffice the need? Let us put it this way – Your mobile screen has limited space as opposed to your desktop screen. Unless you want to cram all the elements and information into that little screen you see, it is always better to arrange and design for those little screens in order of priority so your audience can leverage your content to the fullest. As you work for bigger screens, you can offer advanced elements that can enhance user experience but for mobiles, it is only viable to design in a way that the most important information is consumed first by your viewer.
We were recently engrossed in a deep design conversation with one of our users of Apric. Upon explaining the mobile-first website concept, they pointed out a very interesting question- Isn’t the mobile-first concept and responsive design the same thing? This was the reason we were compelled to create this blog as a lot of folks do not know the clear-cut difference between the two.
Responsive design starts on the desktop and works its way down to the smallest screen. Mobile-first concept, however, is quite different as it is designed keeping in mind the mobile view and then works its way up. In responsive designing, the layout and designs are scaled to be positioned in accordance to your respective phone screens although the speed, navigation, and a lot more elements are steered towards a traditional site made to be viewed on the web. You can also say that a responsive design website is reactive and is designed to move fluidly to accommodate devices.
While both designs offer an impeccable experience to users and offer accessibility across all spectrums of devices, mobile-first experiences offer a rich holistic experience for the viewer that can in turn lead to conversions.
Now that you are aware of what mobile-first websites are and why you need them. It’s time to learn how to create an exemplary Mobile-first website. The first step to creating websites, whether mobile-first or traditional, is to conduct a thorough analysis of your user needs to decipher what you want their user journey to be like the moment they arrive on your website.
Keeping it short and simple – KISS is how to ace your mobile-first website. Cut down on some functionalities to ensure that only the most important and relevant information stays on your website which could lead to conversions. Cramming up too much information for the sake of enlightening the user may backfire and cause the user to click away. Following a minimalist approach is the best solution to creating a monumental experience. The reason for this is mobile users use their fingers to navigate and are prone to errors so keeping everything accessible is very crucial.
“Get the bundle now!” “Learn how to write copies that sell” “Unlock my free gift”, Such CTA’s ensure that your users are hooked on what you have to offer, something that they just can’t miss out on! Since mobile-first websites allow only a portion of the content to reflect on the page, there is an indispensable need for a convincing CTA.
Users, especially mobile users have very limited time on their hands and a lot of lucrative offers flooding in whenever they browse through their phones. This shortens the attention span thereby leading to distortion of information. The best way to approach this is by displaying content in a hierarchy – From most important to least important. This will guarantee an effortless flow of information and make it easy for both you and your user to understand you.
Humans are visual beings and intentionally or unintentionally are driven by colors, textures, patterns, etc. Websites having authentic and tastefully designed creatives that are mobile-adaptive are perceived to be more credible and trustworthy. If users see that you have poor imagery, they will click away in no time. We suggest brands use minimal imagery but one that is thought-provoking and imitates your message in the best visual way possible.
As easy as this sounds, it is not. If you are a developer, we are certain you understand this pain point. What may look flawless on one device may look distorted on another. It is eminent to offer the same experience across devices. Make sure you test it on multiple mobile phones with different operating systems to get a clear picture. The key here is to notice if the pictures and content sit well across the interface.
Being subject matter experts in the realm of design, we at Apric critically analyze every aspect of design. In fact, our team vouches for the fact that we can spot a design error from a 6-ft distance. Through our years of expertise and trial and error, we have finally mastered the art of what really works and what doesn’t. For some amateur designers, mobile-first websites may still be a gray area as it takes a lot of practice to master what looks and feels ideal. It requires extensive research and most of all utmost patience to crack the code. So, here are 4 mobile-first designs that we are absolutely obsessing over this summer. Head over to our Instagram @apricweb to let us know your favorite mobile-first websites!
Typeform follows a minimalist approach wherein they are providing a precise solution to anyone looking to build interesting forms. What we like about this mobile-first website is the legibility and the kind of plain sailing content that is straight to the point. No beating around the bush, to-the-point solution and soothing visuals are the kind of themes they stick with. Personally, this is one of our favorite out of our picks!
As an internet media, news, and entertainment company, BuzzFeed has strategically placed the contents of its mobile-first website that ensures that people click, out of the shock factor. Although it may seem a little cramped up, it works for BuzzFeed! Striking visuals, Catchy headlines, and huge text make it ideal to catch the eyeballs of people who want to read about entertainment and drama.
This mobile-first website allows visitors to explore beautiful themes and learn about their offerings. Again, gives a very clear-cut message for visitors so they are well aware of what they can expect out of the website. The crisp tone of communication in the messaging coupled with easy navigation makes Pixelgrade a great mobile-first website inspiration.
Express is a cult favorite in the fashion industry not just due to the stylish clothes they offer, but due to the fact that they are well aware of their customer’s needs. Being a graphic-rich portal, the mobile-first website of Express translates high-quality imagery and strong CTAs to attract and retain customers.
With the design community evolving as we speak, it is eminent to cater to users’ needs to establish a credible brand. The world has seen an enormous shift from web to mobile and the space continues to grow with full force. This opens windows of opportunities for brands to delve into the world of mobile-first designs and explore what it holds.
Our verdict is that inculcating and adopting a mobile-first strategy will not only exponentially help you with conversions, but will also help you connect with your audience in a very personalized and well-defined way. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know your thoughts on mobile-first websites, we love to hear from you! Till then, be on the lookout for our upcoming blog. We are sure as hell you do not want to miss it. Ciao!