The essentials of mobile-first design for 2022

The first time the mobile-first design strategy was mentioned was in 2010, which was more than 12 years ago.

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google in the year 2000, Eric Schmidt, declared that Google was moving to this style of design. In 2022, there is an estimate that seven billion (yes, with"B" in the middle) "B'") people are using smartphones. The 7 billion users are the evidence that Schmidt understood the market when he declared that "mobile is going to be the primary method of providing the majority of the services you offer." Developers today must embrace the mobile-first approach to design to get an opportunity to be part of the 7 billion (and expanding) digital consumption market.

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How do we define mobile-first?

Traditionally, developers would transition from desktops to mobiles. Still, today's design with mobile at the forefront of mind implies initially beginning your project at the mobile end and later expanding the features to create an iPad or desktop version.

Tips on How to Design a Mobile First Website, Source: Youtube, Marketing 360 

The mobile-first design strategy is designed to create prototypes and more user-friendly experiences by beginning the design process on the smallest screen, ensuring that users' experience is seamless across all devices.

Mobile-first: App or web?

In 2022, businesses require at least a mobile website and a mobile-friendly app. In addition to five-seven percent of users are willing to leave companies that provide a terrible smartphone experience, it is clear that the need for a mobile-first approach is never more evident.

Nike The Nike brand is an iconic brand that focuses on the long-term advantages of having an app and mobile-first-friendly website. The website reaches Nike's world audience through an easy user experience. To keep them, this site will also entice users to download the app on their devices to enjoy additional benefits, including exclusive offers and rewards.

Today, when catering to 7 billion digital users, businesses should look at mobile-first web and app designs to attract the attention of, keep, and then monetize these customers.

Why is mobile-first? Two key benefits of mobile-first design

By embracing mobile-first design, you're informing your users that they will experience an intuitive user experience regardless of the device. This approach to design simplifies and reduces your data into manageable chunks; however, there are additional and more benefits to using this method:

Is Mobile First Important, Source: Youtube, Elize Presents

The engagement has increased. Conversion rates "on mobile devices" have been up by 64% over the average conversion for desktops."

Higher retention. As previously mentioned that nearly 66% of companies are mobile-first. Increasing numbers of large-scale businesses recognize that mobile is highly strategic retention and acquisition channel.

It's become evident that to retain and engage online customers, the mobile-first approach is where you need to be.

What brought us to this point? A brief background on mobile-first design

When the millennium arrived, the idea of designing websites that were able to work with different sizes of screens was quickly becoming the norm. To do this, developers needed to employ various techniques -- that is, before the time when a significant paradigm shift took place in the year 2010.

Here's a quick outline and timeline of the way the whole thing occurred:

Progressive enhancement

Progressive enhancement can be described as a design method that puts the content first. It allows everyone to gain access to the fundamental features and content. While at the same time, users with more advanced capabilities in their browser or faster speeds can automatically access the upgraded version of the browser.

Progressive Enhancement v.s. Graceful Degradation, Source: Youtube, Sylvia Maguina

In 2003, web developers Steve Champion and Nick Finck presented a talk titled inclusive web Design in the Future because engineers and developers were already searching for ways to enhance accessibility to content, overall accessibility, and features for mobile devices. They described this as an innovative method of web development progressive advancement.

Responsive web design (RWD)

A responsive design implies that your plan can function flawlessly across all devices such as smartphones, desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

In the same year that Eric Schmidt initiated the significant paradigm shift, Ethan Marcotte published a responsive web design blog post. Both of these started a chain of events, culminating in mobile-first becoming the primary top design priority for 2022, in which "more than ever before, we're designing work to be seen through an array of different experiences."

Responsive designs look like readers have excellent readability and similar, if not identical, user experience, regardless of what device you use.

Mobile-first indexing

On July 1, 2019, Google announced that "mobile-first indexing is now enabled on a default basis for any new website."

This means that Google mainly utilizes the mobile version of the content to determine its indexing and ranking. Because most people access Google Search with a mobile device, Googlebot now primarily crawls and indexes webpages using the mobile agent.

Thus, 16 years after advancements in technology were introduced, and nine years after the significant transformation, Eric Schmidt's announcement about a mobile-first society was realized.

How can you implement a mobile-first process?

Suppose you're a programmer creating a site for a well-known clothing retailer chain. Mobile-first design implies that you know the user's needs and what they're looking for from a mobile website. For instance, your user will likely be on their mobile searching for the hours of operation.

Mobile First Web Design Tutorial, Source: Youtube, Adrian Twarog 

This design strategy will have you expanding from the smallest, most significant dimension.

  • Mobile Content that is lean, such as store hours, location, and contact information prioritized, and customizable menus and widgets that can be collapsed.
  • Tablet-Desktop The higher-quality visual elements, more fabulous high-definition photos, and more space. Desktop websites will display large-sized images, such as advertising and other promotional material (which is stripped down and sometimes eliminated) on mobile devices.

Best practices and mobile-first principles

The first step in applying this design method is to understand your customers.

  • When you understand the expectations that mobile users be expecting from their mobile-friendly experienced Web developers and designers should take note of the following rules to ensure that they have a mobile-first design:
  • prioritize the content for a mobile-first layout, information is the king, and a minimalist method of constructing information is crucial for the mobile user experience.
  • Navigation intuitive: In simple terms, users expect certain functions in specific areas. When developing your website, think about places where people wish to locate operations, such as the button for the menu or back. If the user expects the menu button to be found at the bottom left, the design accordingly. Every screen.
  • Testing on actual devices This is a matter of being said (but we did it anyway).



The following design principles improve the engagement and retention of your websites. The result is that Google will rely on mobile-friendly versions of your website's content when it comes to the purpose of indexing as well as ranking.

Implementing this design method helps keep users and their experience at the forefront of developers' minds.

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Hope this article is helpful to you, thanks for reading.