It is just undeniable that mobile technology is the way to the future. The question is why? Why these gadgets like tablets, phones, and watches have become so important that it is leading the way towards the future? The answer is the figures, according to a research, the global smartphone consumers exceeds the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014. The very last year, in the US, mobile users exceeded PC desktop users for the first time ever.
Smartphones are introduced just before 10 years, while the Tablets are introduced only before 4-5 years. Because of this rapid growth of these devices, the web designers and developers got the idea that the web would need to be displayed more clearly for the growing user-base, through this need the Responsive Web Design (RWD) is invented.
Responsive Web Design, First Step towards Mobile First Strategy
Designers and developers use the term, Responsive Web Design (RWD) to verify that a website provides the optimal viewing experience across a wide array of devices like, mobile phones to the PC’s. The thing is that, the information on your site should be accessible, wherever a user views your website on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. In short, the website should change itself according to the device it is getting handled on, let it be a desktop, tablet, or a mobile phone. The website should be intelligent enough what device the user has and automatically respond to those viewing preferences. Today, many companies are taking the benefits of RWD by implementing a mobile-first strategy.
Mobile First Strategy
Enabling employees to use their own devices like mobile phones, investing in their mobile communications and supporting the ‘bring your own device policy’, alone does not mean having a mobile-first strategy. It also does not mean building an application and enabling it to the mobile devices of the employees. A mobile-first strategy is an organizational approach which will focus on the employee’s empowerment.
Website designed first for the mobile and then for the PC’s is actually the mobile first strategy. Being a mobile-first company is all about, being flexible to all form, factors and platforms. The boundaries to the business have vanished now. Employee can get a job done and can move the company forward from anywhere they are. Basic thing about being a mobile-first company is focusing on user needs.
Mobile has become the ‘must have’ for the companies in the past some years, giving companies reason to think hard on their mobile first strategy. The basic reason of using the mobile first strategy is routine communication freedom, resulting in the adoption of the mobile apps by the companies, as the opportunity to get benefited is enormous. The question is, is your company fully ready to get benefited from the mobile first? Where exactly you should focus?
‘High priority’ things to be considered
Many companies only focus on the market research, while adopting the mobile-first strategy, but at the same time totally forgetting about the other important factors. Only going through the analytics is not enough at all, but the business type and requirements plays the equally important role too. Some of the important factors to be considered are as follow:
Flexible as well as Scalable
Application should be flexible and scalable. If the architecture is strong enough ultimately it will make you secure and not just that but flexible and provide scalability. The technical architecture will depend on the intricacy of your business. The proper channelization of your company mobility architecture will be beneficial in saving your time, money, resources and also give operational flexibility to your application.
Without a feedback any process is incomplete. Just for an example, if you are using a payment application and if the vendor does not provide a transaction or reference id while the process ends, you will have doubt on the service provider’s professionalism. There is one more thing to be considered and that is, proper user-research and prototypes, because it is totally different how the end user uses the different applications.
Equal Emphasis on the First, Middleware and Backend
The importance of front end part is immense, but equally important is the middleware and backend too. A proper cloud strategy, security requirements and caching layers along with API that supports location-based needs, are also important factors of a complete digital transformation. For the companies, while applying mobile first strategy backend should be well-equipped.
Simple Site Navigation
While accessing any site, user wants to go through a simple menu items and drop-down navigation. The menu items should be very less, with minimum list of items. Simple site navigation should be the main concern while designing a site. It will eventually increase the number of user conversions, resulting in more sales or newsletter subscriptions.
Instant Problem Solving
If a company decides to redesign its website and site navigation, mobile first strategy helps to get data, important content and critical user functions easily, while giving a concise set of solutions. With mobile-first, designers and developers site issues related to the problems first and then resolve them early in the development process.
It is hard to find any industry which can not get benefitted by the mobile first strategy. The tablets and smart phones are becoming people’s main personal computer, making businesses use the power of these devices by creating a mobile first strategy to get benefited.