Going Mobile First

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When considering a new website, or a site redesign, it’s time to move away from mobile being an afterthought.

Here’s why.

The mobile web is growing fast; and your mobile strategy, or lack thereof, will have a direct impact on your customer’s experience. The latest statistics forecast the number of mobile phone users to reach 4.77 billion worldwide in 2017[1]. In 2015, 52.7 percent of the global mobile phone population accessed the internet from their mobile phone[2]. This figure is expected to grow to 61.2 percent in 2018[3].

Going Mobile First means that, up front, you need to be thinking about your customer experience across all platforms. Here are some things to consider when thinking about your next website project to ensure you’re thinking about Mobile First.

1. Focus

The constraints of mobile UX typically demand process and workflow changes geared towards improving the experience — regardless of the screen size. In many cases, mobile time and space constraints can lead to benefits for users on any device. For example, in order to reduce typing, we simplified Omni Hotel’s mobile room booker by implementing automatic zip-code lookup. This auto-populates “Country”, “City” and “State” – saving the user from having to fill out an additional three fields.

2. Be Fluid

It is impossible to redesign and/or optimize your site for every new device. A fundamental approach to Mobile First design is implementing fluid layouts. Fluid layouts resize your site based on screen size, so whether your visitors are using a small phone, medium phone, “phablet”, small tablet, full-sized tablet, laptop, desktop, or wide-screen television, you can be assured they will be getting the best experience possible.

3. Know the Capabilities

Just because a visitor is on a small screen, doesn’t mean we should fall short on delivering a compelling user experience. Mobile First design should strive to treat mobile use cases as a priority, rather than edge case. Today’s mobile devices are equipped with a dazzling array of sensors, offering developers and UX engineers the means to derive context, and provide uber-personalized, location-aware content.

In future blog posts, we’ll dive deeper into the processes and workflows to apply when designing for the mobile web.

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