Mobile first: youâ€™ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, but what does it mean exactly? Not only that, but what can it do for your business? Is this something you need to worry about or is it just the newest trend in an already crowded marketplace thatâ€™s glutted with flashes in the pan that glitter for a moment before they disappear forever?
Well, the truth is that the definition of â€œmobile firstâ€ has changed over the last few years. Initially, when someone talked about mobile first it was a visual design philosophy revolving around how websites need to be re-designed for viewing on mobile devices for easy readability and navigation, especially since the first smart phones had rather small, low-resolution screens. However, as mobile devices have become more powerful and are now featuring much larger screens, the idea of mobile first as a design philosophy has evolved to something completely different today â€“ and itâ€™s something that you simply must focus on if you want your business to succeed. Hereâ€™s what you need to know about the mobile first design philosophy and how to apply it to your own business.
Itâ€™s Gone Beyond Desktop Versus Smartphone
Today, nearly every company has made sure that they have a website optimized for mobile users alongside their traditional desktop website designs. This is in direct response to the explosion of mobile devices over the last decade; the number of people who use smart phones and tablets to do their web browsing has increased stratospherically. However, many companies have positioned themselves to adopt mobile first as more than just as a tactic for keeping mobile web browsers happy but an overall strategy for their business.
The idea, according to Carmel Ventures CTO Ofer Brandes, is to begin designing products and services for computing devices that are the most limited first. In this case, this would be a mobile phone. Next, you would continue to develop versions of these applications and software for larger and more advanced devices with larger screens and more computing power – tablets, laptops, and desktops respectively â€“ that incorporate additional functionality, but since the core functions are present from the beginning in the most stripped-down mobile devices they were originally designed for, thereâ€™s no loss of the most crucial functionality.
Itâ€™s imperative to draft a mobile strategy right away and from the beginning, according to Brandes. This is especially important when working on instituting marketing strategies or working on the creation of new products. It may not be necessary to always focus on a mobile offering before any others, but it can certainly be beneficial that thereâ€™s at least a mobile strategy in place from the first day.
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