It’s Not Mobile-First; It’s User-First
In the past, most designers and their clients have approached website design as desktop-first. And even with the rise of responsive design, many of us still tend to start with full-size design and shrink it down from there.
Which brings us to the next big thing everyone’s been talking about: mobile-first design. It’s the latest trend, and it seems to make sense. It leads to better ideas and more responsive webpages, and it makes life much easier for everyone involved.
But is mobile-first always the best way to go? Or are things changing too fast?
There are over 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide. And in the US, 25% of them are mobile-only. But that also means 75% aren’t. And if you think about it, what we design for today might be viewed on something that didn’t even exist when we created it.
So how can we prepare? With users viewing our content on everything from massive desktops, to iPhones, to tiny wrist watches and virtual reality headsets, there’s no doubt that any website’s got to be super responsive.
That said, it goes beyond responsiveness. You’ve got to think about not just how people are viewing your content, but why. And you’ve got to design toward that.
If you’re designing a food review site, you want to design something for the hungry and impatient. If you’re designing a tourism site, you want something that can be looked at from the car. And if you’re designing a site for elderly healthcare, you’ll want something both the elderly and their caregivers will enjoy easily and in great detail.
It’s less about the device, and more about the person using it.
Hasn’t it always been that way?
Written by Lauren Beader.