Mobile-First UX design: What’s It, and Why Will It Rule the Industry in 2023?

Author: Bob Jan 17, 2023 8 min read

Developing a mobile site is no less important than creating a desktop one. A few years ago, the mobile version was just a supplement to the main one, but developers have changed their priorities recently. According to Statista, a little more than 50% of all traffic now comes from mobile devices, and about 56% of all purchases are made via smartphones, and these numbers are expected only to grow.


That’s why companies that don’t make an effort to provide a quality mobile-first UX risk falling far behind their competitors. Below, you’ll find some of the most common tips and tricks for creating mobile-optimized websites.


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What Is Mobile-First UX Design?

Mobile devices have been an essential part of today’s web landscape and will continue to play an important role in the future. It should also be taken into account that the number of users of mobile devices exceeded the number of desktop computer users. According to Statcounter GlobalStats, the total number of mobile users continues to grow, with a market share of 60.43% compared to desktop ones.


Mobile-first UX design is the principle according to which the UI/UX interface of a website is initially developed for extensions that are installed on smartphones. The essence of mobile-first design is that the product is initially created for mobile devices instead of a desktop version. Historically, the creation of a product starts with a website for the big screen, while for other gadgets the finished version is adapted later. 


Important Requirements In Mobile First Design Development

The relatively small width of the screen of a mobile device doesn’t allow you to walk around. You have to think about all the functionality and select the most important and necessary elements. Thus, you will once again define the purpose of your site — perhaps, you will discover something new, change the existing variant or come up with new functionality.


Therefore, some of the most important requirements in Mobile First design development are:


  • The website must be lightweight and optimized, as the speed of the mobile network connection may be weak depending on the user’s location.


  • The mobile-first website should not load more resources than the user needs to get the information they want, as the mobile internet is still expensive. Additional information should be loaded only on request.


So, mobile-first is a method of developing an optimized website for a variety of mobile devices, considering the speed of the network connection and the importance of displaying the main content to the end user.


Mobile-First vs Mobile-Friendly: What’s The Key Difference?

There are often questions about the difference between these two terms. So now we’ll break it down for you point by point. 

Mobile-friendly means being able to adequately view the site across all devices, so the on-page content should be no wider than the display. Information on the screen should be placed in such a way that the user does not have to zoom or use horizontal scrolling. It is desirable to minimize the number of images with text. The site should not contain software for mobile devices that is not read by Google bots (for example, Flash content). It is important to place links at a sufficient distance from each other so that users can click on them without “missing”.


Mobile first is connected with a strategy of website development according to which the site is initially created for mobile devices, with subsequent adaptation to tablets and PCs. With this approach, there is no feeling that the mobile version is cut or underdeveloped – the elements do not run into each other, and all menus and links work correctly.


Pros And Cons Of Mobile-First UX Design

As with any other approach, mobile-first design has advantages and disadvantages that influence the development cycle. And now we’ll highlight a few things you should know before creating a website. 


Advantages of the mobile-first UX design:

  • The worldwide mobile consumer sector is growing and becoming increasingly popular.
  • Once you’ve designed for mobile devices, you already have the site’s basic functionality and need to add more features for larger devices.
  • Mobile-first UX design is more responsive. Mobile sites are quite different from desktop ones in the way of interaction. 


Disadvantages of the mobile-first UX design:

  • Apparently, mobile sites don’t have as much space as desktop websites.
  • It is more difficult to predict the overall look and perception of the site for desktop users.


Benefits Of Responsive Website Design For Business

Responsive mobile-first web design means adjustability of the site to any screen size. This approach helps users maintain two different versions of the site, making them equally usable on computers and mobile devices.


  • Seamless user experience. Responsive mobile-first designs provide a unified experience to consumers on all devices such as computers, cell phones, etc. This sense of uniformity instills a feeling of belonging and trust, even if users access these sites from different gadgets. Dropbox, Dribble and GitHub are the best examples of web apps that offer a seamless experience.


  • Accessibility. It is a significant advantage of responsive design for mobile-first websites because they don’t require a different layout for mobile sites. Thus, you can save on developing and maintaining a mobile site, as it is more affordable and easier than supporting separate sites for different devices. 


In addition, you can manage all your web content on a centralized server, so updating content takes less time. So, you can invest your resources in making your business more efficient.


  • Automation. Responsive design is easier to create and takes less time to implement. Although it offers limited control for users, it is still the most preferred method of attracting visitors. You can also use content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress, to create a responsive site without the help of IT professionals.


Why Mobile-First Tendencies Becoming More Relevant In 2023

We’ve picked out 5 points for you to explain why mobile-first tendencies will be increasingly relevant in 2023. In this paragraph, you will find out what mobile-first can bring to your company if you integrate it into your strategy.


  1. Mobile-first design is preferred by most users. As we said, smartphones are used by the majority of clients, which means that you can reach a wider audience and increase sales. People don’t let their phones out of their sight: they work, or perform tasks on the “small screen”. Smartphones are handy for any online activity, including finding new products and customer assistance. You have a chance to connect with customers wherever they are, provide high-quality services on any screen, and make them more accessible.


  1. Attractive website. Desktop sites can have a “sloppy” look and overly complex navigation, resulting negatively in quality performance. Websites with a mobile-first design have a more aesthetically pleasing look that attracts and retains users.


  1. Content prioritization. The need to fit key elements into a smaller space indicates that the brand is prioritizing content. Designers and developers include only important information and remove unnecessary details. As a result, users can quickly find what they’re looking for and place orders without problems.


  1. Increased conversion rates. Mobile user experience already accounts for over 54% of all e-commerce sales. If the site has simple and clear navigation, and pages load quickly, then it ranks high in search results. This contributes to high conversion rates. 


  1. Increase in income. Mobile-first website design is ideal for business continuity. To stay in e-commerce or other similar niches and be successful, it is important to close customer needs. A good website allows businesses to reach their sales goals faster because customers find it attractive, user-friendly and effective to operate.


Wrapping up 

In 2023 brands are trying to catch up quickly with all UX/UI trends, so marketers and designers need to keep an eye on them and track the popularity of new technologies.


It’s also important not to forget about established mobile-first trends, such as mobile optimization, that will definitely be relevant. It is worth remembering that trends are, of course, an important factor in the site’s UX strategy, but in the pursuit of innovation, you should not sacrifice the personalization of the resource because this is a necessary puzzle of success. 



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