1. What is Mobile-First Design?
  2. Mobile-First Design Elements
  3. Additional Tips for Mobile-Friendly Web Design
  4. Get Yourself A Website That Works On All Devices!

You're lounging on the couch, scrolling through your favourite social media app on your phone.

Suddenly, you come across a brand's website and decide to check it out.

As the page loads, it becomes clear that this website was not designed with mobile users in mind. The text is too small to read, the buttons are impossible to click, and the images are cut off.

Frustrated, you quickly exit the site.

This scenario is all too common in today's world, where mobile devices have become our primary means of accessing the internet.

If you want people to stay and interact with your website, then a mobile-first design is a must.

In this post, we'll discuss mobile-first elements and why it matters for businesses and users alike.

What is Mobile-First Design?

Mobile-first design is a design approach that prioritises the layout, content, and functionality of a website for mobile devices first before scaling it up to larger screens.

Traditionally, websites were designed for desktops or laptops with large screens and then adapted for smaller screen sizes. However, with the increasing use of mobile devices for browsing the internet, this approach is becoming less effective.

Mobile-first design recognises that the majority of users now access websites through their smartphones or tablets and puts them first in the design process.

Mobile-First Design Elements

Web developers, designers, UX/UI experts, and businesses can follow a set of guidelines/elements to ensure that their website is optimised for mobile users.

Here is a brief overview of the elements that you should keep in mind:

1. Content Must Be Prioritised

A mobile device layout comes with the most limitations.

  • The screen sizes are much smaller.
  • The bandwidth and data usage is limited.
  • The processing power of the device is not as robust as a desktop or laptop.

Because of these limitations, you must prioritise your content for mobile users.

You can create a content inventory list to determine which content is critical to your website and its users.

From there, you can decide what content is most important and should be displayed prominently on the mobile version of your site. As device users often search for specific information, the type of content you display and where you display it on the page is crucial for a successful mobile website.

2. Touch Targets Must Be Large

Mobile devices rely on touchscreens for navigation, so it is crucial to design with that in mind. To ensure an optimal user experience, all interactive elements on a mobile website should be large enough to be easily tapped with a finger.

The recommended minimum size for touch targets is 48 pixels by 48 pixels or 7-10mm.

3. Avoid Large Graphics and Animation

Graphics and animation can enhance a website's design and significantly impact page load times and data usage.

To optimise your mobile site, avoid using large graphics or complex animations that may slow down the user experience.

4. Simple Navigation is Key

Navigation on a mobile site should be as straightforward and intuitive as possible.

Imagine how you would react if a website's navigation takes you to an unexpected page or if you have to pinch and zoom multiple times just to access a menu.

To avoid frustrating your users, make sure that your navigation is simple, clear, and easily accessible on a mobile device.

This may mean simplifying your main menu, using drop-down menus, or implementing a search function for easy access to specific content.

5. Keep Pop-Ups Limited

A disruptive pop-up can quickly turn off a mobile user and result in a high bounce rate.

If you must use pop-ups on your site, make sure they are not too frequent and easy to close.

Consider using alternative methods, such as banners or inline forms, that do not interrupt the user's browsing experience.

6. Optimise Forms for Mobile

Filling out forms such as contact, subscription, or checkout forms on a mobile device can be tedious.

To prevent users from abandoning the form, make sure to optimise it for mobile devices.

This includes using:

  • Appropriate input types, such as email or number fields.
  • Providing autocomplete suggestions.
  • Keeping the form short and simple.

7. Test on Real Devices

It is all good and well to optimise your mobile site on a desktop, but the true test is how it functions on an actual mobile device.

Make sure to regularly test your site on a variety of devices and operating systems.

This will help you identify any issues that may be specific to certain devices and ensure a smooth user experience for all visitors.

Remember these mobile-first elements when designing your website to ensure a positive user experience on all devices.

Additional Tips for Mobile-Friendly Web Design

  • Use high-quality images that are optimised for mobile without compromising loading speed.
  • Make use of white space and font sizes that are legible on smaller screens.
  • Avoid using Flash or other plugins that certain mobile devices may not support.
  • Use touch-friendly features such as swipeable carousels or buttons with enough spacing for easy tapping.
  • Utilise mobile-specific features such as click-to-call or maps for improved user experience.

Why Does A Mobile-First Design Matter?

As we mentioned in the beginning, most people won't stay on a website that isn't mobile-friendly.

To avoid this from happening to your website, you need to ensure that your site is designed with mobile in mind.

Here are a few benefits of a mobile-first design:

Improved User Experience: A mobile-friendly website ensures a smooth and easy experience for users, leading to increased engagement and conversions.
Better SEO: Google prioritises mobile-friendly sites in its search results, so having a mobile-first design can improve your site's visibility and ranking.
Increased Reach: With more people accessing the internet through their mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website can expand your reach to a larger audience.
Better Brand Perception: A well-designed and functional mobile site can enhance your brand's image and credibility in the eyes of potential customers.

Get Yourself A Website That Works On All Devices!

It is imperative that you design your website with a mobile-first approach to cater to the ever-growing number of mobile users.

If you don't have the expertise or resources to create a mobile-friendly website, contact us today!

Our web design and UX/UI services will create a website that makes lounging on the couch with a mobile device enjoyable!