Mobile first, desktop second! But why?

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Why should development teams prioritize development of apps and services for mobile before desktop? Simply put, the majority (52%) of users these days will be using a mobile device for web browsing, vs 42% who will use a desktop computer. Additionally, 40% will only use their phones for searching. It is therefore important these days to prioritize the development of mobile versions of an app before focusing on the desktop version. Although that sounds easy enough, the reality is that this is not always the case, and the reasons are nuanced.

Easy results go first

It’s probably part of our human nature to always strive for easy results. Often this is fine, but not when you’re developing a website. In many ways, both for developers and clients, the desktop version has many benefits. The pages are bigger, so the result is visually more attractive. Functionalities are relatively easy to design and to implement. Besides, at desktop size it’s easier to be creative and come up with out-of-the-box solutions. For developers this means developing a desktop website first is the easiest way to please their bosses.

From desktop to mobile

However, when this awesome looking desktop site is ready, it’s often very difficult and costly to create a mobile version which is at least just as awesome. Screens are much smaller and instead of using a mouse, you use your fingers , leading to a whole new approach to user experience. In many cases the outcome is just not as good as the desktop version.

To really put mobile first, you have to develop mobile first. Don’t design a great looking website for desktop with the idea you can easily convert it into a mobile version – rather aim for the best possible user experience on mobile first and then focus on desktop.

Putting mobile first

In order to achieve a mobile-first approach you might need to dig deep in your organization. The mobile first strategy should be adopted all over your organization, both in business as in development. The best option is to make this happen is to have an ‘ambassador’ for mobile in your development team. Their job is to prioritize mobile during the whole trajectory of designing and development. They also make sure the best of your resources, time, energy and creativity is put in developing an awesome mobile website.

In the end there is a big difference between a mobile site which is good and one which is excellent. Small changes in design and functionality can lead to massive changes in audience behavior, increasing the business value of your website, simply because you choose to put mobile first!

Are you looking for an awesome mobile first website? Or would you like to get some more advice? Feel free to get in touch with one of our experts for more information. Or read our business case ‘More entertainment with the new BookSpot webshop’ for more inspiration.