June 19, 2018
We felt a strong wind of change in the Web Design world over recent years.
New terms and new dynamic have been high on the agenda: mobile first, content first… what do they mean?
We start with a compelling notion: math. Numbers are the soul of these changes that are animating the web development universe.
In 2015 Google has announced that, for the first time, number of researches from mobile devices is greater than that from computers.
Online market fulfils this trend and shall consider a mobile device oriented web development.
Responsive optimization has become essential and, consequently, web design key principles are subject to significant changes as well.
Mobile First approach is based on a specific strategy: mobile device must come first if we speak about both configuration and performance.
Web designers and developers have been involved in a desktop oriented web development so far, picturing a wide range of function, graphs and creative opportunities designed to a big screen.
Only later a mobile planning was scheduled and often it was considered as an appendix to the main site.
Mobile First approach turns this vision upside down and it sets different priorities.
Anyway, websites would lose much of their utility if contents should fail. It’s an essential element for the dissemination and usage of the site itself. We cannot make a solely mobile oriented argument, therefore.
Design aim is to improve content presentation to which it relates. This might sound obvious but content is the primary element for a website and it should be never ever determined in retrospect.
Without any sort of structured content, building the site will be a more time-consuming and frustrating process.
When we think about the mobile, we’re used to reduce all to a percentage matter: on the basis of the screen size in pixel, we set the width of the various blocks on a given percentage.
Content First approach leads us to use more flexible units of measure that will allow us to adapt our layout to the form that content may assume. If we just thought to devices size in pixel, we’d have an adapted layout that probably will destroy the user experience though.
What content can there be?
First thing to do is to sort items to insert, with sketch and mock-ups, trying to give a priority order to various items we want to put on the table.
This is a very important step because, besides the question:
What content should I enter?
It also tells us:
What priority will I give to these contents?
This priority hierarchy allows us to consider the different devices for which we are planning.
In short, content is the website engine, it is what tells us about what the website wants to tell.
This approach represents a sort of revolution of the Web Design. We started from desktop environment all the time and then brought it into line with other devices in a kind of reduction and adjustment. We were wrong. We should work on the basis of mobile devices constrains: select the essential contents that must be gradually implemented and enriched on other devices.