Think Mobile First
Generally, web designers have focused on the desktop design of a site with mobile design as an afterthought. Even with the rise of responsive design, it is still commonplace for designers to start thinking big, and then scale back. However, with the ever changing nature of technology, no longer are the days that people go home to their desktops to read their emails or to order a new pair of shoes. Rather, the use of mobile devices has hit staggering numbers and there seems to be no sign of slowing. Over 87% of the world’s population has access to some kind of mobile device, while 34% of US mobile device users go online mostly using their phones, and not other devices such as a desktop or laptop computer. Now more than ever, there is a real need to think of device ubiquity and how a site can be optimized for any device.
Like a set of Russian nesting dolls which has a wooden figure that separates to reveal a smaller, identical figure inside, designers should approach their projects by peeling back the layers from their larger idea to reveal the most essential elements needed for a site—the smallest doll that is the base of them all. By focusing on the smallest footprint of a site and thinking about mobile first, designers can progressively enhance rather than degrade a site experience. Once a designer has the discipline to define necessary functionality of the site, then she can create a more effective user-centric site that undoubtedly not only looks great, but functions better too.
Learn more about going mobile first, as well as nine other current design trends, in the LYONSCG Design Trends 2014 webinar, available on demand.