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Understanding Mobile-First UXUI Design: A Beginner's Guide

Updated: May 4, 2023

"Mobile-first design is important because it’s the future."

"Mobile-first design is important because the number of people using the internet is increasing daily."

You must have probably heard this, and many of you'll might have questions like:

a) What is mobile-first design?

b) Why is mobile-first design important?

c) What are the things to consider while making a mobile-first design?

If you have these questions, then this article is just for you. Let's dig in by understanding:

What is mobile-first UXUI design?

Mobile-first design is a method of designing a website or application that focuses on how it'll look and feel on mobile devices. It breaks down the user experience into its smallest components, then builds them up piece by piece until you have an app that looks and feels great on any device.

In simple words, It is a design approach that prioritizes the design of a website or application for mobile devices before designing for desktops or larger screens.

It starts with a focus on the core functionality of a product and ensures that it is optimized for a small screen. It then progressively adds features and design elements that are appropriate for larger screens.

But why mobile-first?

This is what you're thinking, right? Let's understand,

Why is mobile-first design important?

The way people use the internet has changed dramatically in the past few years. Mobile devices are everywhere, and they're used for everything from web browsing to watching videos on YouTube, so making sure your website adapts well on mobile makes sense as the major and primary traffic comes from there .

Mobile-first design is important because it is the future of how people will interact with websites, apps and other digital content. It's also important because most people expect their mobile device to act as their primary computing device—the one that serves as both a phone and computer (or even a tablet).

Most importantly, this design approach can help designers create a cohesive and consistent user experience across all devices while ensuring that the product is easy to use and performs well on mobile devices.

However, you shouldn't make separate versions of your site for different platforms because users won't see them or use them. Instead, its wise to focus on making one seamless experience across all platforms that looks good everywhere—and works well with both desktop browsers and mobile devices.

When should you use a mobile-first design approach?

If your target audience uses computers but mainly accesses smartphones or tablets (and maybe even watches), as a primary mode for information or entertainment, then this approach might be right for your business!

You can read more about how we design a mobile-first e-commerce platform for one of India's premium innovation-driven direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands for men by clicking here.

Key considerations while designing a mobile-first UXUI.

  • Avoid making the platform deisgn heavy:

Remember, the most important thing is to keep your users in mind as you design your site. As there are space restrictions on smaller screens, UXUI designers must ensure that the most vital elements are prominently displayed since those are the ones users will actively look for. Make sure that it is easy for them to access information without having to scroll through long blocks of text or images. This will help make sure that your website stays consistent across all devices and browsers.

Tip: If you plan to use few images/carousels use webp, svgs format as it works great on mobile devices.

  • Optomize content and layout:

Are you trying to make a website that works across both desktop and mobile platforms that could mean using different fonts or layouts depending on which platform they’re being viewed on – not an optimal situation!

Ideally, all of your content should be accessible through one interface regardless of device type (desktop vs mobile). If there are any inconsistencies between how things look when viewed from different types of screens then users may have trouble navigating around your site properly because they won't know where certain pieces of information are located within their browser window as well as whether those pieces need scrolling up/down and so on.

To deisgn seamless experience for users, it's important to ensure content on your pages is optimized for mobile devices (having right font size) so that people can read it quickly and easily. For mobile-first UXUI deisgn we recommend to keep it minimum 12 to avoid users readability issues.

  • Avoid Pop-ups

As earlier mentioned mobile devices have space constraints and no one likes to be accosted with distracting pop-ups or adverts taking over the screen hampering their platform experience. UXUI deisgners must only focus on what’s important for users and provide them with the things they are looking for in the first place.

  • Use Empty states in case of lazy loading

Speed and user friendly interface go hand in hand. In order to ensure your users do not exit or get frustrated while navigating information that might take time to load or popup on screen its wise to include creative empty states that keeps users engaged on the page while the results show up. It could be anything like a small game, quiz or showing similar info they might be interested and so on.

  • Ensure Right Viewport

The most important thing to consider while designing a mobile first-style UI is the size of your viewport. This means that you need to ensure that your design scales properly across different devices and screen sizes.

A good way to ensure this is by keeping a base mobile model in mind that major audience use, using a grid system, which will help keep elements in their place and look consistent across all devices. You can also use responsive design techniques such as media queries or fluid grids in order to adjust how much content appears on each device (and therefore how much space each element takes up).


The key take away here is you should always start designing your websites with the mobile device in mind and then move up to the tablets, and desktops. It is better to design your website with a mobile-first approach because it helps you create an experience that can be used by everyone on any device.


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