12th November, 2014 by Ben Russell-Vick

Mobile First Vs Desktop First.

The debate between building websites from its mobile version up to desktop or vice versa is an argument that is yet to be solved. Conventionally in the past most web designers have approached the desktop side of a project first before tackling the responsive side.

The drift towards building for mobile devices first and working your way up to desktop has grown and many web designers prefer this method. This is not only because of personal preference but also because of clients’ needs and the fact that mobile design is no longer niche and is now a vital part of a company’s web presence.

The fact that there are now 2.1 billion mobile web users makes responsive design no longer just a trend but is instead vital for any business. A mobile site will generally contain less content than it’s desktop version, less important elements therefore are sacrificed in order to maintain the visibility of more essential information.

With a mobile first viewpoint, we start by loading the absolute bare essentials on the smaller platforms. To me the mobile first approach is all about prioritizing and focusing on what’s most important on a website. The limitations of developing mobile firstly doesn’t necessarily mean that the mobile site is any less intuitive but instead means that this lack of space means a designer can concentrate on the things that matter most within the site. The process that a user takes to access the most important information is quicker on a mobile site as there is less content to digest. Mobile first can therefore streamline the user experience; guiding users to the correct content a lot faster.

Whichever way the argument is looked at, the workflow is essentially up to personal preference of the developer/designer. Certain aspects of any websites design have an influence on which way it should be built but ultimately the developer will go with whatever they feel most comfortable doing.

About author

Ben Russell-Vick

Straight outta University and already making waves in the digital industry, Ben can spot a dead pixel in a display at 40 paces. Supports Brighton and Hove Albion, so not really a football fan.

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