First of all, use Mobile-First design
Luke Wroblewski introduces Mobile-First design as giving top priority to mobile layouts when designing web sites or web apps. Designers and developers must think of their products and solutions in terms of mobile presentation first, rather than as an afterthought. In the article, published in 2009, Wroblewski shares the three main reasons for flipping design priorities. Let’s examine how well his reasons for changing focus have held up:
1. Mobile is exploding
Though the Web has been accessible on mobile devices for years, today's smartphones are driving huge use of networked applications and Web content. Consider that AT&T has seen a 4,932% increase in mobile traffic data in the past three years. And that's just the start.
Heavy mobile data users are projected to triple to one billion by 2013.
Mobile internet adoption has outpaced desktop internet adoption by eight times.
Smartphone sales will surpass worldwide PC sales by the end of 2011.
Over half of Android and iPhone users spend more than 30 minutes per day using mobile applications.
Building mobile first ensures companies have an experience available to this extremely fast growing user base widely considered to be the next big computing platform.
2. Mobile forces you to focus
Mobile devices require software development teams to focus on only the most important data and actions in an application. There simply isn't room in a 320 by 480 pixel screen for extraneous, unnecessary elements. You have to prioritize.
So when a team designs mobile first, the end result is an experience focused on the key tasks users want to accomplish without the extraneous detours and general interface debris that litter today's desktop-accessed Web sites. That's good user experience and good for business.
3. Mobile extends your capabilities
Digital Team Italia | Case History
These reasons are equally useful and important for the design of services for Public Administrations. As we will discuss in upcoming posts, the AgID Guidelines for the Italian Public Administration demonstrate a sensitization to the "mobile first" topic. It has become necessary to modernize strategies and implement them optimally, even in this context. We also think only of the first reason, to what at the time was called the “phenomenon of mobility” but now is just part of our daily life.
The Italian Council of Ministers Triennial Plan (2017-2019) aims to put the citizens at the center of future application design plans. This new approach demonstrates sincere interest in mobile-first, responsive design and other digital technologies and resources that make institutional data and services available for the people
On May 22, 2018, the Digital Team Italia presented IO App. In the coming months the Digital Team will publish a beta version to test the new relations between the Italian Public Administration’s services and the citizens it serves. You can see a preview of the prototype and the details of the project at io.italia.it.
From the press release:
"With the new app, every user can ask and keep documents and certificates, accept and make payments, receive communications, messages and reminders. The application will begin its first test phase in August 2018 involving some local and national services including, from the first stages of the test, some citizens to complete the design and development including more and more testers. "
Eight years after Wroblewski published his article, the situation today shows that things have changed quickly. Today, projects that create products for a competitive market always consider navigation and accessibility in mobile environments first.
In fact, while designing for mobile has taken root, there are other critical elements that designers must also weigh. It’s now necessary to look atthe set of applications that support the channels used by the browser, web-app, and more.
"The increasing use of the smartphones by users requires companies to think 'mobile first'. This does not mean simply creating sites or apps designed for mobile devices, but completely rethinking the experience of interaction between company and user, taking advantage of the opportunities made available by mobile."
Recent years have also seen the rise of other popular, but not strictly mobile, tools such as smartwatches and smart TVs. Imagine a public and government service to be carried out not only through your smartphone, but also with the help of your television and your watch.
Another conference participant, Marta Valsecchi (Director of the Mobile B2C Strategy Observatory at the Politecnico di Milano) added:
"The smartphone is not just a touch point but a single point of contact. It is, in fact, the only device always available to the user at any time of the day and the most used device in front of the TV... Companies are called to the challenge of a Mobile Transformation to guide all its communication processes and customer loyalty towards the use of the smartphone as an enhancer of the other contact points... "
In conclusion, we need to think of the mobile experience today, where mobility has become a condition of everyday life. We must remember it! This situation is more than "redesign of the window" but has its rules, its own methodology, its points of connection with the context.