Let’s talk responsive design. Responsive design is a process where you ensure your website or web application looks good on every screen size.
Considering this is a VERY important part of digital design, a lot of people use a mobile-first approach to tackle this problem. So, what's a mobile-first approach? It’s a term that refers to starting your design on a mobile size screen and then designing on bigger platforms after that.
So, when should you use this approach and how? We’ve got the answers for you!
It’s VERY important to identify that your target market actually does look at mobile first. For example, if you’re targeting to a group of hospitals for a B2B product, they will likely be using their work computer when landing on your website. So this approach should only be if more than 50% of your target audience will use their phones.
The mobile-first approach is also not the best for projects that want a lot of animation and interactivity. Those complex interactions don’t hold up well on every device, so if you’re thinking of having that on your website, make sure your user base is also landing on desktop in addition to mobile so that they will see it!
Key tip: A good rule of thumb is to always treat animation and interactions as an add-on (don’t make it your core appeal because it doesn’t show up well on every device).
The mobile-first approach also can limit your thoughts on function. This is an important one because a lot of web platforms will have an enhanced version available on desktop and a limited version available on mobile. So if you start with just mobile in mind, you end up trying to cram every single feature on a small screen. Consider starting on desktop if you have a lot of features and functions and then narrowing down to mobile on your core functionalities.
Overall, it is absolutely important to make sure your designs are mobile-friendly — this is a must! And depending on your project, a mobile-first approach might work or not work for you!
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