Defining Mobile Web Design Strategies

Mobile Design

You’ve probably heard the Stats. Mobile usage is on the rise, year on year. Does your site take advantage of that? If you’ve had a site built within the last 5 years, it’s more than likely that you do have a mobile site. But what approach was taken?

There are two schools of thought when it comes down to designing for mobile. Its Responsive Design and Mobile First Design.

Whats the Difference?

Responsive design is the process of designing a full desktop experience and essentially calling it down to fit. Traditionally, this is the process that has been taken with a large percentage of sites as a retrofit. To make a site mobile friendly. This does have it’s own inherent problems.

When designing a responsive site a lot of things will have been designed for a desktop user. So when it gets translated to a mobile environment, you have a few options. One is to remove ‘Non critical’ assets to essentially make it fit. This normally involves just hiding content within the view, reflowing the remaining assets and scaling images backdown. The main issue with this is bandwidth and loading in assets that will not be viewed within the viewport. It’s very easy to lose site of the mobile platform requirements with a responsive approach. With a desktop, you have a high speed stable connection that will allow you to load a site quickly and efficiently. On a Mobile data connection? Not so likely.

What about Mobile First? It does what it says. Mobile is the first thing that is built. And the first thing designed for. All of your core functionality will be available to all users (both desktop and mobile) and the requirements will scale to fit all devices. You build for a mobile data connection and design for a mobile experience first and foremost. The other viewports can scale up to fit. This has many benefits. You have lightweight assets for a low bandwidth scenario, design your user experience so that a user it’s able to perform all required functionality.

The Expectations

More than ever, the mobile device in your pocket has become your go to device, infinitely more important than even your desktop. With services such as Siri and Google, users now want instant information more than ever. Using a mobile first approach can mean that your designs and architecture cater for this need better and help a user to reach there goals more efficiency. Google has started Looking at Accelerated Mobile Pages to cater for these needs. Some great tools you can user are google mobile friendly tool.

So The Key Things

Mobile design will work with both approaches be it Responsive or Mobile first. Just keep in mind these key points.

  • Design for speed. If your pages are fast on mobile they will be lighting on a desktop connection.
  • Make sure your user can perform the same functions on mobile as they can on desktop. Your users will thank you for it.
  • Allow a user to perform the goals they need on a mobile device.

If you would like to discuss your website strategy, get in touch with the StrategiQ team today. You can call us on 0333 358 3343 or use our contact form.