Going mobile: why ‘mobile first’ is reshaping digital

Going mobile: why ‘mobile first’ is reshaping digital

We all know that one of the biggest news in brand recently is Google. Its rebrand and immediate incorporation into the umbrella ‘Alphabet’ organisation set the industry’s tongues wagging. Many commentators were also quick to note that the company’s latest logo re-vamp was ultimately decided by their newfound ‘mobile first’ approach.

Many have heard the term bandied about, but looking a little closer at exactly what it does and what it means is actually quite a useful exercise. In layman’s terms, ‘mobile first’ prioritises the appearance and accessibility of web content on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. From formatting the size and shape of tabs on a web page to a continuous scroll setting, companies are now approaching these components first before even considering their content.

So why is it suddenly the talk of the town, and what makes it so special? Well, with phone and technology companies constantly churning out ‘smart’ devices with smaller screens (Apple Watch, take a bow), mobile internet access is on the rise like never before. That means it’s more important than ever for companies to optimise the content and user interactions for mobile devices. Hence mobile first.

Here at Creative Spark, we’re strong advocates of a ‘mobile first’ approach. In fact, it’s pretty much our guiding principle when we do any digital project. User and audience experience is at the heart of everything we do, so it’s doubly important for us to ensure that users can view and interact with our digital projects across a wide variety of mobile and desktop devices, seamlessly.

It comes naturally for designers to start off with small ideas and growing them into larger well thought out products. This can be replicated when designing for mobile. Creating a clear, uncluttered layout on a mobile and then expanding this organically onto larger desktop screens is the logical progression with the mobile first approach. Trying to achieve the same without following the mobile first approach, can sometime result in trying to cram too much onto a smaller device, meaning time is spent trying to rectify aesthetics in User Interface (UI).

Google’s recent logo transformation shores up this approach, proving that the ‘mobile first’ doctrine really is the way forward. Scrapping the quirky flicks, using a sans font and squeezing their signature colours into their iconic ‘G’ revamps this company’s logo and makes them more compatible and consistent across mobile devices.

This bold move to align itself with changing technology trends and follows a pattern companies such as Facebook have used in the past. All of this proves the importance of a ‘mobile first’ approach; even the slightest rework, like a change to your logo font, can revolutionise your brand and seriously affect its future success.