Key Trends – Mobile First

In 2015, Google announced that, for the very first time, mobile search queries outnumbered traditional desktop searches. The online sector has since reacted to this news by integrating new, more robust, mobile-oriented concepts into its web design. As a result, a fundamental shift in web design is currently taking place, and website optimization for mobile devices has taken a more assertive step into the foreground of the industry.


  • Content takes center stage in mobile-first design. With mobile-first design, users have to be given the content that they absolutely need. Designing this way, with such stringent limitations, forces UX designers to strip any extraneous elements away and focus on the essential.
  • If one’s site is good on a mobile device, it translates better to all devices. Mobile has the most limitations, screen size and bandwidth to name a few, and so designing within these parameters force designers to prioritize content ruthlessly.
  • Recent content strategy trends, emphasize purposeful, targeted content “focusing on quality and actual value, as opposed to quantity or output,” as summarized in a Marketing Insiders Group outlook for 2018.


  • This is a mobile development-oriented approach in which the project is created while keeping in mind hardware and software constraints of the platform. The end product is efficient since constraints were already in mind, offers core functionalities for a minimalist approach and is suited for smartphones.
  • Moreover, it is easier to remove the constraints and build the application up rather than implement constraints during later stages of the software development life cycle. This permits easy modification and upgrading of products for machines with lesser constraints.
  • Responsive web design and progressive enhancement work synchronously since they both rely on optimization for smartphones. Responsive web design is based on viewport size of the user (web page area which can be viewed) and by coding the CSS for mobile platforms and utilizing media queries to load more content and functions as per the viewport, the functionality of the software can be adjusted for mobile constraints.


  • There is nothing worse than clicking on a link from a mobile device that doesn’t load because, while the main site is mobile responsive, the landing page it links to is not. Or, when users get taken to an off-center, impossible to fill out lead-generation form.
  • Calls-to-action are useless if they aren’t designed with mobile in mind. Which means you are missing out on leads and sales. Make sure your CTA is designed mobile-first, test links and consider using mobile-friendly calls to action such as SMS text messaging and live chat.


4. Site speed

  • The context of browsing a page on mobile suggests that visitors are willing to spend even less time with waiting on a loading page plus the super quick data connection is also questionable. One of the most important reasons to go mobile-first is to decrease website loading times.
  • Site weight affecting the load time of the site is crucial for converting leads into sales on mobile.
  • Figures by KissMetrics indicate that 40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, so making sure a site loads faster is essential for increasing conversion.

5. Improving User Experience: Navigation & design

  • The user experience is the most important aspect to consider and if one can potentially improve that experience the site will gain visitor’s respect, keeping users coming back and increase consumer loyalty.
  • Graphic design really matters. A study into the value of graphic design found companies who emphasized graphic design outperformed non-design-focused companies by 200%.
  • Well-designed websites are also considered more trustworthy, more memorable, and easier to use. In other words, aim for bold shapes, clean lines, bright colors, and typographical elements. Make use of white space, which is both visually soothing and makes navigating on mobile easier.
  • As mobile continues to rise, and the mobile-first approach becomes king, future designers will become experts in this type of UX design and the process will become smoother, quicker and cheaper.
  • Information architecture and thus navigation is more important on mobile than on desktop. A mobile user requires easy navigation. There is no room for error on a four-inch mobile screen.
  • Consider using a navigation section at the bottom of the screen instead of using a hamburger menu. At least the most important menu options need to be visible. It’s advisable to use a search icon instead of search bar on mobile. A mobile-first approach is restrictive in terms of space but it’s a challenge that needs discipline.


We leveraged a combination of leading publications and expert blogs to find additional sources and analysis that support the three trends already identified. Your research team also identified additional trends about the mobile-first design and its future application. Your research team identified additional trends based on the fact that they are a subject of many discussions of leading publications and expert blogs and also based on the general direction/gradual changes these trends are shaping. We have grouped navigation and design under user experience because we assume that these two are what makes a website user-friendly. In conclusion, we found out that mobile-first design is ideal for creating websites that are content and user-experience focused.

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.


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