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Why You Should Think Mobile First – Here’s Why #85

Even though access to the web via mobile devices has been around for a long time, most sites still give desktop the priority, and mobile web design is secondary, or even an afterthought. But the rapid rise of mobile to become the predominant way most people access the web may mean it’s time to rethink those priorities.

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Mark: So, Eric. In one of our virtual keynote live interviews with main Google staffers, you chatted with John Mueller and Mariya Moeva about all things mobile, including mobile-first mindset. So, that discussion started with defining what Google means by “mobile friendly.” Explain that if you would.
Eric: Sure. Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller told us that, to Google, mobile-friendly means not only can users see the same content from your site on a mobile device, but they can have as good an experience with your site as they would on the desktop version.
Mark: So, in other words, they shouldn’t feel like they have to switch over to a desktop version of your site to do whatever it is they want to do on your site.
Eric: Right. That might be navigating to other content or pages on your site, the ability to buy something, easily finding related items, filling out a form, or any of the kinds of things people normally do on a desktop website. And of course, the content should be easy to read on a smaller mobile device.

The Mobile-First Mindset

Mark: And John emphasized to us that, given the increasing number of people that either mostly or entirely access the web on mobile, site owners ought to be shifting to a mobile-first mindset. Now, what does that mean?
Eric: Mobile-first means not just creating a mobile version of your desktop site, or even making your desktop site responsive to mobile devices, but thinking of your whole design from the mobile point of view.
Mark: Okay. So, why would you do that?
Eric: Well, first of all, as more and more web traffic moves to mobile devices, it just makes sense to give mobile priority, but there’s more to it than that. Thinking in terms of designing for mobile devices forces you to design more cleanly, more simply, in ways that will probably benefit your desktop users as well. On mobile, you’ve got to keep the user interface clear and direct because desktop gives you too much real estate to play with and allows for almost infinite number of bells and whistles that you can add to a site. Too many sites have become sloppy and difficult to use. Mobile first pushes us back to a better user experience, which means happier users.
Mark: And happy users stay longer and come back again.
Eric: Precisely. In fact, John Mueller told us that this is what Google is doing themselves. For many of their web products now, the engineers and designers actually start with the mobile mock-ups. Everything is designed, tested, and improved in a mobile format first. It’s only then that they adapt the design to desktop.
[Tweet “Mobile-first isn’t just better for mobile; the mindset improves every aspect of your site. More at”]
Mark: So it really is a whole change in mindset. I mean, pretty cool that mobile first makes our sites not only better for an increasingly mobile world, but also better for all our users, even those on desktop.
Eric: That’s right. Be sure to watch our entire virtual keynote interview with Googlers John Mueller and Mariya Moeva.
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Thoughts on “Why You Should Think Mobile First – Here’s Why #85”

  1. If anyone has been paying attention to Google, they know this already. But, it’s important to remind folks, you need to optimize for mobile search now, if you haven’t already. The trend is your friend, and the trend is for more and more mobile searches.
    Thanks for the article Mark.

  2. yes! for sure Mobile search is a future and in 2017 if you have not optimized for mobile than you will surely loose tons of business.

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Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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