The proportion of web traffic on mobile phones has now overtaken that on desktops. In 2022, there were 5.3 billion Internet users worldwide, and the number is still growing. In addition, mobile now accounts for more than half of all web traffic. This leads us to consider the extent to which we need to adapt to this new web design trend.
Nowadays, you don’t just need a website that looks good on a desktop computer, you also need it to be mobile friendly to attract as many visitors as possible. This article will give you all the information you need when choosing between mobile-first and responsive web design.
What is responsive web design?
Contrary to what you may think, mobile-first and responsive web design are not the same thing. Responsive web design is a design approach that adapts the interface to any type of screen. This type of website detects the screen from which the user is browsing and automatically adjusts the layout to fit the screen size.
What is mobile-first design ?
Mobile-first design is similar to designing a mobile app. It means designing a website for mobile and then adapting the design for desktop and tablet. It is an approach that recognizes the reality of an increasingly phone-centric world and offers many benefits in terms of accessibility, performance and user experience.
So mobile-first is a very contemporary practice that has spread with the rise of smartphones.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of each approach.
The benefits of responsive web design
With more and more people using mobile devices to connect to the internet, adopting a responsive web design approach ensures that your site or application is accessible to a wider audience.
Simplified design and maintenance
With a responsive website, any changes you make are applied to all versions of your site. Whether you change the text, add an image or completely redesign your brand, these changes are automatically applied to both desktop and mobile versions of your site.
Because the information displayed does not depend on the type of device being used, you can have the same design on all devices.
Since the release of its algorithm, Google has been favoring mobile-friendly sites. In fact, when a web user makes a request on the Internet from his mobile phone, Google wants to give him an answer adapted to his mobile phone. A responsive website is therefore very important to be well ranked in the SERPs.
The benefits of mobile-first design
More website traffic
Considering that mobile is the preferred browsing device for a large part of the population, designing a mobile-first website is a natural way to meet the needs of your target audience.
Better user experience
Mobile-first means simplifying and optimizing the user experience from the outset, with more refined interfaces, easier navigation and faster load times.
Mobile-first websites tend to be much lighter in terms of code. This not only improves the user experience, but also has a positive impact on SEO.
A mobile-first design means giving more consideration to content to make it as effective as possible. Due to its small size, a phone screen can’t hold too much content because it’s not readable. By thinking about the right content, you’ll improve the readability and impact of your message.
Mobile-First vs. Responsive Web Design: Which should you design ?
The desktop is no longer the standard. Mobile has taken over and you now need to have at least a responsive website that adapts to different devices. Remember, mobile-first is always responsive. It’s now up to you to decide if you want to add a mobile-first approach.