The importance of moving towards ‘mobile-first’ technologies to stay relevant and effective as a business in today’s market cannot be understated. Recent years has seen a marked change in consumer behavior, rapid innovation in technology, demand for more engaging communication, and a new generation of informed customers. All of these realities indicate that a mobile-first strategic approach will be crucial for future business success.
Our behavior when it comes to how we seek and consume information has changed dramatically in recent years. In 2015, Google announced that the number of searches originating from mobile devices had surpassed that of laptop searches – more and more people are accessing the internet from mobile devices and less are using their laptops and tablets for this purpose. This means many website visitors are only seeing the mobile version of a company’s website. This highlights the importance of mobile-first web design as it is most likely the first impression someone will have of a company.
The past decade has seen smartphone ownership increase massively on a global level. Our phones have become extensions of ourselves, and our capabilities. No longer are potential customers trawling the web at their workplace or in their homes to find solutions providers, but innovative technological devices means they can now do so quickly and easily on the move. Therefore, to meet and exceed the needs of mobile users and truly be effective with their marketing and branding, companies must develop their brands and services toward this emerging platform.
Each year, more and more customers and employees are millennials – a generation that was raised on digital, many of which may have had their first digital experience on a mobile device. Therefore, enhancing customer experience and engagement are crucial to success. When you consider this, a mobile-first business strategy is no longer an option; it is a necessity. In recent times, many companies have made significant efforts to become more customer-centric, and adopting a mobile-first approach is at the essence of this practice. This applies to the brand, marketing, and content strategy as much as it does to IT and product development. The objective today is not to have a product that is effective for users, but to have a product that helps users to be more effective. The more you empower your customers through the solutions you provide, and the ease with which they can access information about you, the more freedom you give them to handle their business, and the more loyalty they will have.
Websites designed for laptops do not work when viewed on mobile devices. Not only is the layout itself jeopardized but much of the content is sacrificed in the process. So, though the bare essentials remain, much of the content that was initially optimized for, and incorporated into, the site will be lost. Therefore, it’s best to make your site mobile-friendly, begin with the design of the leaner website. This provides the solid footing for both the mobile version of the site and the canvas to which other features can be added to complement and utilize larger screens. Making your content mobile-first forces you to think differently. Having to choose what is the most important and vital information, as well as how best to display it, is always a good exercise when it comes to strategy. So, by having to select the essential data and condense the wording, the content you produce will become more compelling.