Design for mobile first? No way.
I was in denial.
People couldn’t possibly enjoy trolling the Internet more on their smartphones than through their computers. Or could they?
I thought about my own habits. Wake up. Check Facebook. Go about my morning routine. Get ready to leave the house. Facebook. Drive to work. Facebook. Go into work. Work for a little while. Eat a doughnut. Facebook…
It’s a vicious cycle.
But what does my millennial, forever-faithful relationship with Facebook have to do with the mobile-first web experience?
The answer is everything.
It’s a truth I wasn’t ready to accept, but then the usership numbers started rolling in on a landing page I designed recently.
Ninety eight percent of users were visiting this particular landing page on their… you guessed it… mobile devices. And there it was: concrete, matter-of-fact, absolute data that proved my thinking was completely flawed.
What now, huh? What does this mean?
Thanks to Facebook, (Or, no thanks to Facebook, depending on how you see it.) web designers must retrain their brains to think in reverse. It’s like learning to roller skate backwards. It’ll take some time. We may fall down a few times and stumble over a few unsuspecting kids in the process, but it won’t be as hard as it looks.
We’ll have to spend more time and energy on the mobile experience than we had previously, in order to cram all the great visual things you love about the desktop experience into the palm of your hand. And we’ll do it. We’ll do it so well, you won’t see the blood, sweat and stumbles it took to get there.
And while it’s true that not all websites attract such a high percentage of mobile users, we can’t ignore the facts. Mobile usership is only growing. Step up, or step out. Either way, I’m dreaming small.