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3 reasons why designing mobile first could be the best move for your site

More people than ever use the internet to complete their daily tasks; online shopping, banking, research and so on. And many customers are choosing to complete these tasks using a mobile app. Over the last 10 years, there has been a real move to a mobile-first browsing habit among consumers all over the world, and more often than not, businesses are failing to keep up. Organisations, both big and small, are losing customers and revenue hand over fist because they failed to design their sites or eCommerce platforms for a mobile-first world. However, there are more reasons that designing for mobile before desktop could be the right move for your next project. Below are four key reasons that you should be designing your site with a “mobile first” mentality, and one bonus tip for starting off on that journey…

It saves time

Designing for mobile isn’t quite as simple as finding the first mobile phone to hand and making your site fits the screen. The mobile world is far more fragmented than it once was (for example, Apple’s 2018 iPhone series boasts 3 entirely different screen sizes), and so any site needs to be responsive, able to cater and auto-fit to any screen size thrown at it. By the time you’ve completed designing for mobile, you’ll also be 90% of the way to being ready for tablets and desktops as well, rather than needing to completely start anew for these different formats.

It reduces clutter

Screen space on a mobile phone is far more limited than on a desktop, and so the need to slim down what your site is showing your visitors will force you, and the content teams, to evaluate what is necessary. Do you really all of the social media links in such a prominent position? Is that perhaps one too many pictures of your product? Are we asking for too much info in the contact form? Without this sort of ruthless quality control, the “kitchen sink” mentality rules the day and can lead to bloated, slow and unmaintainable sites that customers hate.

The trick to performing this sort of check correctly is with an A/B testing framework. Remove or change the placement of certain components, buttons, text fields etc, and see how long it takes people to complete actions, and whether or not they reach the end at all. This allows you to see what works, and what doesn’t work very quickly.

It’s the start of customer research, even for big purchases

Historically, mobile was for small purchases, with customers using a desktop to investigate and initiate the purchase of bigger ticket items. However, in 2016 it was shown that 63% of automotive research that led to purchasing a car was initiated on a mobile device this means that even if you’re selling a product that you would not normally expect customers to buy on their mobile, the research phase will more than likely start on their mobile device or tablet.

Bonus tip: integrate, integrate, integrate

It may sound obvious, but your site has a goal. More often than not, that goal is for a customer to make a purchase, or sign up to a newsletter, or view an advert. Customers will walk away from your site very quickly if they get the impression that it may take some time to complete whatever goal they want. This is a tough nut to crack, so thankfully there are plenty of organisations that have done the work for you. For example, integrating your e-commerce section with Apple Pay will allow customers to breeze through the checkout process, making them more likely to complete the transaction.

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