More than Responsive
What is Mobile First?
The terms we hear today are “mobile first” or “responsive” and you will hear people use one of the terms to represent the other. They are not the same thing. When the layout is automatically adjusted based on the size of users’ screens, this is responsive. This technical approach eliminated the need to create 2 different websites, one for mobile and one for desktop. When the use of a responsive website was first adapted, the development method was really in essence “Desktop First”. Most people used their desktop to access the website. This design method, really did not look all that great on the mobile device. Most of the time the site was just shrunk down in size to fit the mobile screen.
Built Mobile First: Now that the use of mobile devices on the internet has surpassed desktop devices, the design approach had to change, Today a good website will be designed for the mobile dice first, then the layout changes as the screen size increases. Designers are forced to re-think everything. The primary canvas is now 5″ wide instead of 21″. Content has to be prioritized as the what is the most important. From the design the problem is how do you make your mobile website look unique and different with only 5″ of space.
Mobile first is a longer process not only in the design aspect, but also in the development. Sites must load quicker, as users expect the same speeds on a mobile device as they get on the desktop at home. The current iGen or Gen Z, current ages of 7 to 24, will increase mobile access even more. As they make their first major purchase for access to the internet, will they chose a mobile device or a desktop. We all know it is going to be mobile for the primary choice.
Mobile first gives a consistent user experience on all devices, optimizes the content, and favors the mobile experience. This has caused content to be the most important thing. The cost of this is the need for more resources, designers and developers to adapt to the change, and requires more time and cost to develop from scratch. This is why Timber-Boot was developed, to significantly reduce those costs.