Mobile-First Web Design vs. Responsive Web Design
By: Bassel Tibi
In this article, we wall talk about two different approaches in Web design domain, the Responsive Web Design and the Mobile-First Web Design.
First, we will mention the meaning the feature for each design, then we will do a comparison and state which one is best for your organization,
Mobile-first website design:
Mobile-first websites are completely different from traditional websites. The conditions in which someone may visit your website from a mobile device are slightly different from the conditions sitting behind a computer or laptop.
Make things easy for your customers, more than 50% access the Internet from their mobile phones, do not make them lose you there, and do not lose many visitors and potential customers.
Also, search engines have made many adjustments that indicate that websites compatible with mobile devices will be more important in ranking in search engine results.
Attention to the technical aspect of designing mobile-friendly websites is halfway, you should also make sure that this website improves the types of searches you get. Mobile users generally search for quick and easy information, which means they may not search for browsing a whole bunch of text to find what they need. While a great deal of content is crucial to drive searches on your desktop computer, providing relevant information, such as your phone number and address, is visible and easy to find when it comes to mobile search.
If your business contains a storefront, showroom, or office location that customers can visit, it is also important that you have an accurate Google Map card, so that users can easily get directions while on the move.
Why is designing a mobile-first website important to your business?
We have entered a new era of Internet use, specifically the use of the Internet via a mobile phone, consumers are turning to their mobile devices not only to write text, social network, and get directions and location on Google Map, but also use them to improve their lives, and get what they want through it.
Mobile devices have become essential in our daily routine, and according to the Internet trends report, the time the user spends dealing with digital media via mobile devices has reached more than three hours a day for the average user. Because of this shift in user behavior of the Internet, your digital marketing strategy must shift to a mobile focus as well, meaning that you need to optimize all of your marketing campaigns, assets and mobile orientation and the most important of once which is a mobile-first website.
What does it mean, a mobile-first website?
When we talk about mobile-first websites, we mean that the website looks great on any mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. More than 90% of mobile users consider access to mobile content to be critical, and this means that many may consider leaving sites that they cannot browse through mobile. The site must be built on its compatibility with mobile, so the text is easy to read, and easy to navigate between its contents. The buttons and links are large and clear enough.
The most important thing on mobile-first websites is their ability to give your customers the information they want quickly, and despite the different information that people search for from different sites, the data that shows the basic information that people want is summarized in the name ,the address and phone number. If you have a retail store, a restaurant, or any other commercial activity that customers come to, then perhaps in addition to the previous data, the display of working hours will also be useful.
Google announced earlier that mobile compatibility is now a symbol of ranking, which means that mobile-first websites appear higher in search results, and every update after that strengthens and supports this trend more.
Your appearance in advanced results leads to more preferences for your site, more visits, and thus more customers and sales. The first thing I recommend is to make sure now that your website is compatible with the mobile, we can Standing Tech test it for you, the second thing that I recommend is to do a human test, ask one of your friends to test the site by moving between its contents through the mobile, how the content looks, and the ease of navigation between its sections , So you get a realistic user experience.
The importance of a mobile-friendly site:
Need a comfortable website? Yes, if you want to get and maintain more customers, you need a mobile-first site.
Studies recently conducted by Google confirm that any business, whether small, medium or large, needs a mobile-first website if it wants to gain a competitive advantage now and in the future.
Think carefully, how many percent do you lose if you don't have a mobile-first site? More than half of your potential customers will go elsewhere, if your site is not mobile-friendly. Think about the permanent value of a single customer and think about how many people the customer will refer you to if you provide a good service.
When you dig deeper, what we're really talking about are changing preferences of the modern consumer. Today's consumer is more connected to mobile and less patient than years ago. What does a modern consumer want from your website? He wants the site to be fast, safe and accessible on a mobile device, and full of great content compatible for viewing on mobile.
Your website needs to be fast on mobile devices, the modern consumer does not want to wait, if the rapid loading of your pages does not happen, the user will click on the back button, if the download of your site does not exceed 3 seconds, then there is no problem for you.
Your website needs to be safe:
As of the beginning of 2018, Google has started classifying unsafe websites (websites that do not have an HTTPS or SSL certificate), the secure sites will be marked with a "locked" icon in green, and the unsafe websites will be marked with a " not secure ".
Your customers are more likely to be smart and knowledgeable and understand the risks of hacking a website. If you have two options between two sites that are identical in the quality of products or services, but one of them has a green lock, i.e. it is safe, and the other is not safe. You will choose the safe site.
Standing Tech is the best place you can find a help and support on designing a mobile-first-website with the above features, we have local experts in all cities (Erbil, Sulaimaniah, Duhok, and Halabjah).
Responsive Web Design (RWD):
It is the design that changes its shape according to the shape and size of the user's screen, and responsive designs become popular in recent years as an improvement in the appearance of sites, but today it has become necessary for your site to have a responsive design and it is no longer optional, because it greatly facilitates the browsing process as well as reading Texts, and leave the visitor with a good impression that makes him return to your site again.
If you are a site owner or you are thinking about creating a new site, the first thing that Standing Tech Company recommends that you should think about designing your site is to be responsive and suitable for all screen sizes of users such as phones, computers, etc. I am not talking here about a special design for Computer and other design of the phone, this technology has become from the past. Although many websites are still using them, I am talking here about only one design that changes its shape according to the size of the devices screens through which the site is browsed, such as phones of all sizes, computers and tablets.
Responsive Design features to all devices:
- Leaves a good user experience:
Some statistics confirmed that 70% of website visitors via phones do not return to the site again if its design does not fit the screens of their phones, because the design that matches the screens of the phones facilitates the process of browsing and reading texts well.
- Preference to appear in search engines:
Google is giving importance for sites with responsive design, and they appear in the first ranks in the search results that are done through mobile browsers, meaning that you will lose many visitors coming from the search engines for phones if your site is not responsive design.
- Improve your earnings from ads:
If your site has a responsive design, the ads will appear well and tidy, which increases the Click-through rate (CTR), and some advertising networks such as Google AdSense are now supporting responsive ad units that correspond to the responsive designs that have a major role in raising your profits in Google AdSense.
- Reducing site cost:
If your site is responsive design then you do not need another version of your site for mobile, and thus you will save the cost of design and the cost of servers as well as the cost of maintenance.
at the end, if your site is not Responsive Web Design and you want to make it responsive, it is not difficult, all what you have to do is contact Standing Tech Company.
Responsive Design vs Mobile-First Design
Responsive designs are intended to work on screens of all sizes and will change on the fly so that they make the best use of the screen employed. These changes often include deleting some images, rearranging content displayed in multiple columns into one column, and converting button-based menus to dropdowns, among many other things.
Responsive websites are frequently designed for optimal viewing on a larger screen with the added capability of adjusting to work on smaller ones. Sometimes “extra” information is displayed on a website designed for large screens because there is room for it but not necessarily because it is important to the goals of the website. Superfluous content is less of a problem when displayed on a large screen.
Conversely, because mobile-first designs are initially designed to work on small screens, designers are forced to determine what information is most critical and how to display it effectively on a small screen. This tends to yield highly relevant sites that focus on what’s important. Designers may add content to pages as the screen grows larger but should guard against allowing it to detract from websites’ goals.
Let’s talk now about CSS Frameworks, which is currently supports mobile-first, what is this and why we need to use it, and what is the best one?
What is framework?
Purpose of using the framework
The purpose of the framework can be summarized in saving time and effort for the programmer because it does not have to reprogram the typical features that are mandatory in any application, due to the fact that it has several libraries, each one specialized in solving a specific problem, and for those who wish to use the framework and use the libraries they should respect its pattern, just as using the framework does not mean that the application will not need encoding, but rather, because the framework is only an aid.
A lot of frontend frameworks available now but few have proven their status and strength, and they continue to provide flexibility and strength to designers and programmers to build the most beautiful designs for their software projects.
Each framework has strong strengths and weaknesses, but what is important in modern frameworks is its flexibility, as the framework is designed in the form of units to allow you to use the framework in full or some of its parts to suit your project, or even use units from different frameworks, all of which are suitable for your project.
We will review one of the best frontend framework and some of its features that are provided for your software projects which is Bootstrap
What is bootstrap?
The Bootstrap framework contains elements and options for planning web development projects, including containers, the grid system, media object, and responsive item classes.
Bootstrap features and why you use it if you are a web developer or designer:
There are a lot of features and reasons that make you use Bootstrap in your projects some of these advantages are:
Bootstrap provides the ability to respond to all sizes such as different screen sizes, as well as tablets and mobile phones, which have become the largest visitor in search engines superior to the computer.
One of the most important features of the bootstrap is that it is open sourced and it was released with a MIT license and you can use it from GitHub where you will find it most popular.
Bootstrap is compatible with all browsers, not just updated browsers, but it is also suitable for Internet Explorer 8.
There are a lot of other features and all of these features make Bootstrap very important for all sites and it may be mandatory also because of the time saving it makes in writing the code, as well as making the site responsive, a new site cannot start without being responsive to all sizes.
In a conclusion, the framework was found to help programmers to facilitate the programming process using tools and libraries previously programmed, with the aim of helping developers complete their projects in a short period of time with the highest possible quality while providing the ability to control software modifications in a scientific and consistent way.