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What is mobile first?

With the increased use of mobile-devices to access the web, developers are reconsidering their strategy for design. When designing sites in the 1990s, a static width of 800 pixels was considered the standard. In the 2000s the size increased to 900, then around 2010 it was increase to 1000 pixels.

While we no longer use a static width for a site, designers still often start their design at 1000 pixels and then make adjustments to accommodate small screens, such as mobile and tablets.

Mobile First is a significant change to the design process. Instead of considering the monitor of a desktop computer as the standard, mobile-first design considers the mobile device, namely the smartphone, as the standard. Those designing for “Mobile First” consider how a site will work on mobile as the priority. Adjustments are then made to accommodate larger screens.

Whether Mobile First is right for you depends on your industry, your location and your site’s purpose. Looking at our own statistics, the Trevellyan.biz website is viewed on mobile only about 5% of the time, so mobile-first doesn’t make sense for us yet. However, we have clients who see 50-60% of their traffic coming on mobile, so for them it makes a lot of sense.

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