Why we should take a mobile-first approach to web design

Here’s plenty of reason right here:

When we design a desktop site and then try to convert that design to mobile, we’re faced with many small problems: Where can we put this part? How can we make this bit legible? How can we make this interactive feature a good experience for users on small screens? Some of these will drive you crazy, and the end result can look forced and cramped.

On the other hand, when we design a mobile site and then extend that design to desktop, we have nothing but opportunities. Which parts of this can we make bigger and more prominent and cooler? How should we shuffle things around to get multiple pieces of content and navigation up on the screen at the same time? Where can we add more color, more imagery? It’s easy to extend a mobile layout to a desktop layout. It can be very hard to go the other way.

Of course, it’s much easier to wow our clients with a big beautiful desktop art. I totally get that. So what’s the solution? Start with mobile. Make it work; make it a great experience. Then extend to desktop. Then present both looks to the client at the same time. Explain that you took a mobile-first approach because that’s the industry standard and that’s what smart designers do. Your clients need you to be expert here; they don’t realize it, but they need you to be the advocate for mobile-first. It’s not their job to know; it’s yours!

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