Since 2010, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, announced that designers must follow the “Mobile First” rule in product design. But what does this mean, and how can we implement it in our developments? In this article, Web Design Sydney share what is the Mobile First design and the best tips to apply it in your projects.

Mobile Is Not A Trend: It Is The Present And The Future

When we talk about web page design, we generally imagine that users will access through a desktop computer. However, the reality is that more and more people use mobile devices to consume web content.

A study revealed the following statistics:

  • There are currently more than 1.2 billion web users on mobile devices around the world.
  • In the United States, 25% of web users who use mobile devices do not use desktop computers.
  • Mobile applications have been downloaded 10.9 billion times.
  • Mobile device sales continue to grow, with more than 85% of new equipment with Internet accessibility.
  • As if that were not enough, as of 2016, the use of the Internet via mobile devices exceeded the use of desktops, with 52.6% of total traffic.
  • For these reasons, it is clear that the Mobile-First principle is of great importance in web and application development.
  • Mobile First is a design strategy in which the development of the product focuses mainly on its use through mobile devices, and not on desktops as previously.

“Gradual Degradation” and “Progressive Improvement”

These two concepts refer to two different ways of approaching web design and development so that it adapts to mobile devices.

Gradual Degradation

The Gradual Degradation process begins with a very advanced design, which has all the features and elements available for desktop-oriented design. Subsequently, some functions are eliminated until reaching the point where the design is compatible with mobile devices.

Progressive Improvement

In Progressive Improvement, the process is the opposite: it starts with a basic design, designed for optimal functionality in mobile devices. Then they start adding new features that will improve the desktop experience.

When talking about Mobile First, the most optimal process is Progressive Improvement. This is because when working with Gradual Degradation, it is widespread to want to take advantage of all the functionalities available for desktop use. Still, the result for mobile devices may not be optimal.

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