Mobile devices have been at the forefront of the digital revolution of the past 10 years. Because of this, it’s getting harder to find someone without a phone in their pocket. In the last five years, more people have used their phones than their desktops. A Statista study says that by 2023, 54.8% of website traffic will come from mobile phones.
Your website must work well on mobile phones, whether customers are just looking around or are looking for specific information or services. Any trouble with loading or navigating could send your most valuable clients to your competitors. A lot of websites avoid this by being made with mobile in mind first.
In this post, we’ll talk about what mobile-first design is, why it’s important, and what you can do to get started with it.
What Does Mobile-First Design Mean?
As the name suggests, mobile-first design is a method in which web designers start by making products for mobile devices. This could be set up by sketching or developing the design of the web app first for the smallest screen size and then moving on to bigger screens.
Prioritizing mobile design makes sense because devices with smaller screens have less space, so teams need to make sure that the most important parts of the website are easy to see.
When designing for small screens, designers have to get rid of anything that isn’t necessary for a website to load and be easy to use.
Most Essential Mobile-First Web Design Elements
57% of people who use the internet said they wouldn’t recommend a business with a bad mobile website. To make sure the quality of your mobile-first website and avoid this situation, your company should always follow these steps.
Focus on the user when you design.
Even before you start making a mobile website, you should do some research and find out what problems your users have. Basically, a mobile-first website should help users finish a task or solve a problem in the way that works best for them. The second most important step is to choose which user flows and user journeys to include on your mobile-first website.
- Think about how different users might act on each page of your website and change the path your visitors take accordingly.
- Think about the different ways a user interacts with a website’s interface and find out where your users are having trouble so you can make your site more user-friendly and easy to understand.
- Taking a look at mobile-first websites that already exist and seeing how they have changed
- By looking at your competitors and figuring out what mobile-friendly services they don’t offer,
- Use surveys to find out directly from your users what problems they are having with your mobile website.
Create a visual order for your content
When making content for a mobile-first website, try to keep it as short and to the point as possible. Give your users what they want and get rid of anything that might distract or overwhelm them or make it hard to understand the main point of the text.
Because mobile websites have limited screen space, you should give your audience information in a way that follows the visual hierarchy of how important the information is. This makes it easy to see which parts are most important and should be given the most attention.
Content optimization speeds up a website and makes it easier for people to use. It also makes the site easier to use and more ADA-compliant (read more about what that means).
Always think about the order of mobile-first content:
- Keep your headlines and previews of articles above the fold so that people can see and understand them right away.
- Size pictures and videos so that they work best on mobile devices.
- Focus on giving your users only relevant information that they can quickly skim.
- Keep the text short and to the point, and try to say as much as you can in as few words as you can.
- Break up long pieces of text into lots of one-sentence chunks.
Keep your website simple.
In web design, a simple, basic style is popular because it makes information easier to understand and draws readers’ attention to what’s most important.
In practice, this means that when making a mobile-first website, you should keep the features you think are most important and get rid of the rest.
Don’t bother your users with things they don’t need, like pop-ups and ads, which they might find annoying or distracting. Instead, only put on your website the parts that got them there in the first place.
Think about the following ways to make your mobile-first website easier to use:
- Cut down on the number of links in the navigation of your menu.
- Use simple fonts and don’t make them too small for mobile screens.
- Use big borders and lines that are easy to see.
- On your site, use as few pages as you can.
- Add a search engine that is useful.
- Use white space to break up the layout and make it easier to read.
- Don’t use more than two columns.
CTAs that are consistent and catchy
Websites that work well on phones should have clean lines, bright colors, and typographic elements. A mobile-first need is to combine them into a powerful, eye-catching call-to-action button.
If you don’t have such strong CTAs, you could lose important leads and conversions. Use these call-to-action buttons instead of links, which may be hard to click on mobile screens.
90% of website visitors leave if they don’t like the content or layout, and companies that put design first outperform the S&P 500 by 219%.
This means that your CTAs aren’t the only things that need to stand out. Other visual mobile-first features that improve the user experience and help guide your users through the sales funnel should also be appealing. Here are just a few:
- Easy-to-see navigation buttons that keep more content in the top “hamburger” menu
- Color schemes with stark differences and bright colors
- Patterns and shapes that are not geometric
- Scrollers with a parallax effect and a picture or video background
- Pictures that were drawn by hand are more personal.
- Type that gets noticed
Fast Speed to Load
Research shows that people will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to fully load. Also, 79% of buyers are less likely to buy from the same website again if it doesn’t work well.
The speed at which a website loads is important to its performance because it affects how it ranks in search engines and how users experience it.
You should also follow these rules about speed:
- You can “save weight” without giving up quality by exporting your photos online and making them smaller.
- Use “lazy load,” which loads website elements one at a time, so that users can get to at least some parts of your site right away.
- Change to the HTTPS protocol, which is more secure, faster, and helps your SEO.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to load a site’s content from the cache closest to the user.
More than 85% of people think that a company’s mobile website should be at least as good as its website for desktop computers.
Key parts of “mobile-first” are:
- less of them
- Hamburger menu with easy access to extra information High-quality images that are well-compressed to speed up the site
- Big stories that start with just one sentence
- One-column designs
- Interface like an app
- Fonts that are big
- CTAs that can be seen
- Added speed to downloads
- Videos and pictures that have been tweaked to work best
- As mobile technology gets better, smartphones and browsers will use the camera, speech recognition, and haptic feedback features more and more.
This means that the mobile-first strategy is in charge of giving users the best experience possible. This puts businesses that use it ahead of the competition and helps them get a lot of traffic and leads.