The world today is moving towards a generation of mobile devices. Admit it or not, the web is going mobile as well. Technology has accepted 3rd generation platform of computing in IT revolution, which is for the mobile and wireless devices. The first was the mainframe computer and the second being the desktop computers. Briefly, the 3rd platform is trending towards social networking, mobile computing, Big Data and the cloud technology.
Among these is the adoption of web by mobile users. According to a survey, More than 60% of the web users preferred surfing and doing their online shopping using a mobile device rather than using a desktop computer. This latest trend has forced enterprises to adopt a Mobile-first development practice as their business strategy. A mobile-first development practice is, basically, designing and developing their website/application from the ground up or rather for the mobile devices first. The benefit of applying this strategy has its direct impact on the business value of the site in the following ways:
- Content and Functionality: When designing for a screen size of 320px*480px, all you think of is how to put the content and the functionality of that website on the small screen size. This will indirectly allow you to ditch all the useless content and stick to the key points, making it effective from a business point of view.
- Responsive Mobile Design: Almost every day we hear of new devices getting launched with various dimensions. It is not feasible to design a different website for every different dimension device. The smartest way around this is to create a responsive website keeping the min-width fixed and a fluid layout. This helps your website to flow beautifully as the size of the screen goes on increasing.
- New Capabilities of Mobile Web: Creating a mobile-first website allows the developers to utilize new and exciting technologies such as the accelerometer, onboard GPS location information, Bluetooth device connection, multi-touch interaction, gestures, pinch-spread, audio-video input, etc. which are not supported by the regular desktop browser.
- Progressive Enhancement: It is the strategy of focusing on the content at first, then comes the styling and the presentation, and in the end is the scripting and animation. Mobile-First applies this concept of Progressive enhancement by adding more styling as the size of the device goes on increasing. The content i.e., the words, images and forms are delivered first. Next comes the styling elements of CSS to add beauty to the website. And at last is the final touch by the scripting language or the animation as an add-on for that little extra value to your website.
Thus, creating websites/applications adaptive to various screen sizes will definitely reach most of the potential customers, as is proved by the trending Responsive Web Design. But adopting Mobile-First Development Practice with Responsive Design will lay a future-friendly foundation that will give the site a better chance of working in future browsers and environment along with reaching the potential customers well giving the extra bit of advantage.