Mobile First Approach – Developing with the Future in Mind


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Mobile First Approach – Developing with the Future in Mind

Mobile phones have become an important part of our everyday life.

Er, life?
They even become integral part of our bodies!

Users nowadays use their smartphones for almost anything, ranging from searching information to buying and selling products and services.

Just to set the scene, let’s bring some serious numbers in the game.

– Users choose mobile devices 60% of the time rather than desktop or laptop devices to browse the internet.

– 40% of users are likely to move on to a competitor’s website if you fail to provide a good mobile experience to the user.

– 80% of Internet users own a smartphone.

– 71% of marketers firmly believe that mobile marketing is the next big thing for their business.

– Over 53% users abandon webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

– Mobile searches often lead to purchases. 70% of the time, users searching for products or services make a move within an hour.

Developer’s Point of View

Among the leading UX designers to raise awareness on Mobile First approach, Jon Fox says that the next generation of users is upon us. “Their context is touch, mobility and speed. Reaching them requires intuitive design. For better or for worse, they are mobile first.”

The increased usage of mobile phones needs a fresh approach, one will cater to the increasing number of smartphones. To provide greater user experience and well developed applications, developers are now shifting towards creating mobile applications first and then modifying them for other platforms.

Development Approaches

There are two techniques for mobile web development: Graceful Degradation and Progressive Enhancement. Both offer their own unique advantages, with implementation dependent upon the judgment of developers.

Graceful Degradation

In graceful degradation, development is prioritized for desktop rather than mobile. After the website is completed, it is scaled down to suit mobile versions.

While it may cater well to desktop versions, the transition to mobile platforms often ends up in loss of content and removal of features which would otherwise be essential. This causes issues for mobile users since their access to content is limited, which negatively affects their user experience.

Progressive Enhancement

As a result of majority of users surfing the net using smartphones, a new approach is being implemented called progressive enhancement. Web page is built for mobile from the start , and after its completion, it is further developed to suit desktop and other platform variants.

Since most users use smartphones for web surfing, it is appropriate to create webpages keeping in mind that you should provide thebest possible user experience. Through progressive enhancement, a webpage can’t only be built to suit mobile standards but can be upgraded easily to suit other platforms as well.

Going Mobile First the Right Way

Developing with a mobile first approach requires careful consideration of the following elements:

1. Make a list of the modules and individual features which will be a part of the mobile design. Arrange them accordingly, placing critical features under high priority and those of lesser functionality under lower priority.

2. Instead of developing the entire mobile UI in one go, develop separate features and then integrate them to create a larger module. This way, each part can be modified and chances of entire UI failing is very low. Moreover, the approach permits rapid development and is easy to implement.

3. Remember hardware and software constraints. Choose graphics which can easily be processed by mobile devices and design the UI while keeping in mind viewport size.

4. Dedicate a larger space for items which require touch, since fingers occupy more pixels as compared to cursors. Items such as drop down menus, buttons and links need to be modified to suit mobile UI.

5. Hover effects are unsuitable for mobile UI because no such feature has been created for finger touch.

6. Subject your application to testing on device during all phases of development. It yields actual results of behavior for the platform you are developing it for, which allows error identification and modifications.

Limitations of Mobile First Designing

While mobile first designing offers significantly better user experience and functionality for mobile platforms, it does have its limitations.

– Hardware and Software constraints.

– Smaller viewport size, meaning lesser data can be shown at a time. Requires data to be modified to be displayed suitably.

– Greater technical skillset required.

– Processing power of device needs to be considered.

– Building mobile UI cuts out development of certain features, whose addition proves troublesome during later stages when migrating platform to other devices.

Google and Mobile First – What will Change?

Being the largest search engine on the internet, Google is arguably the deciding factor in many things, including mobile application and website rankings. With the recent news that it will develop a separate mobile first index, it is obvious that Google has recognized the significance of catering to mobile platforms separately.

Although both mobile and desktop webpages will be analyzed, having a mobile website isn’t all so necessary. Google will check both pages and compare the content on them. If there is less on mobile version, it will definitely affect its rankings. To counter this, mobile first and responsive web designing is the best option because it allows creation of a webpage for both platforms and also adapts well to all mobile versions. 

With the changes on our doorstep, the following things need to be considered.

1. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) will also be considered similar to mobile pages and ranked accordingly.

2. Mobile optimized webpages will be ranked first, even if they are slightly outdated with regards to development technology.

 

3. The new algorithmswill display Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) based on mobile page results. This means it will determine the rankings based primarily on mobile pages.

Future Proofing with Mobile First Development

While desktops and other platforms will remain indispensable, general purpose and web surfing has taken a turn for mobile platforms due to their portability and ease of use. With that in mind, development has shifted towards mobile and even Google has changed to accommodate these developments. With the number of mobile users growing daily and development progressing at a striking pace, it is only natural to assume that mobile first development has a bright future.


Asad  has been working as a digital marketing executive for almost 7 years now. He is currently working as leading executive in GO-Gulf – a Dubai based custom website company where he is working on numerous projects for search engine optimization, conversion boosting and targeting relevant audience for the clients. You can reach him on Linkedin.

 

8 Steps to Create Google and User Friendly Website Content

Keep your readers happy and coming back for more, while securing and maintaining your Google rankings with these 8 steps to help produce content that makes everyone happy.

1. Unlocking the door with keywords

Optimizing your keyword use is like a fine balancing act – you want just enough in there to help your Google rankings, but not so much that your content becomes keyword-laden and ends up sounding repetitive and nonsensical.

The optimal number is generally around 2-3% keyword usage throughout your content. Use fewer than that and you may not impact your rankings positively; but use too many and you could be sending red flags to search engines.

Reading through a keyword-stuffed article sounds totally artificial, and can be a frustrating experience for a reader who’s looking for valuable information. Our attention spans have dropped dramatically over the years, and now sit at around 8 seconds. 8 seconds!

Frustrate your readers or lose their attention in that time, and they’ll quickly move on to the next person who can give them what they want.

2. Save the best for first

Lead with the best stuff you’ve got. Remember that short attention span? That’ll come into play here big time if your readers have to start looking for your most interesting information. Trying to entice them to keep reading will only serve to frustrate them.

Giving them the juiciest stuff first also helps to engage them and perk up their interests. It could work to your benefit, as they’ll read on to see what else you’ve got to offer.

3. Be original

If your readers are searching for information, not only is clicking on an article or website that gives them copied and pasted content from somewhere else disappointing, but it’s of no additional value to them and could turn off completely from your site. And, besides that, search engines aren’t too keen on duplicated content.

Just like readers, search engines want to see content that’s fresh, new and original. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to reinvent the wheel or discover something totally new. If just means you should be looking for new ways to write about a topic and different perspectives to have. Search engines value what readers value, so they’ll put what readers prefer higher in their rankings.

4. Love those lists

The fact of the matter is, people love seeing lists within your content. They’re short, sweet and to the point, and readers an glean a lot of information from them relatively quickly. And, it’s much less daunting to see easy-to-digest lists within an article, than pages upon pages of text.

Google also likes seeing lists, whether the entire article is a numbered or ‘Best of’ list, or whether you include bulleted lists inside of your text.

5. Keep it the right length

Generally people don’t like to read too much, even if it’s something they’re interested in. And, Google recognizes this, and atop it’s highest ranking websites in any subject area, you’ll find content that sits between 2,000 and 2,500 words in length.

Something that’s too short doesn’t carry much weight with it, because information can’t be very detailed. And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, content that’s too long is overwhelming and will likely lose that short 8 second attention span quickly. The happy medium seems to be that search engine pleasing number of 2,000 to 2,500 words.

6. Be quick about it

If you’ve got something to say, just say it. Don’t beat around the bush or dangle a carrot in front of your readers. Not only do people have short attention spans, but they’ve also got less time to dedicate to reading, even if it’s something they’re interested in or something they’ve got to know. They want the information given to them fast, straightforward and free of any extra fluff.

Ensuring that your content actually loads quickly is also a huge factor in whether or not readers will even bother sticking around to look at it. Our instantaneous world means that even a 2 second delay in loading your page could be the difference between losing or retaining your readers.

7. Stay fresh

All content needs to stay current. Depending on what type of content you’re providing, will dictate how often you need to update your information. For instance, something fashion-related is likely to change frequently, from season to season or when new trends appear. On the other hand, historical analysis of American history doesn’t really have anything new to report on very frequently.

But, no matter if you’re needing to put up fresh content daily or not to stay current, what remains the same is that you will need to provide fresh content on a regular basis to earn and maintain your search engine ranking.

So, if you’re writing about fashion, that’s easier as each new season provides you with the information you can talk about. But, if your focus is history, you will need to start looking at different ways to approach information that’s been out there and available for years. Finding new ways to approach an old topic gives readers a new and different perspective on things, which can make it more interesting than reading the same old stuff they’ve been looking at for years.

8. Link it up

Google loves seeing pages linked to other pages. Relevant links that leads to helpful resources in your content is a big bonus in Google’s eyes. And, it’s a great help to readers if you’re able to provide them with useful information to supplement what you’ve given them.

Creating content that is able to make your readers and Google happy will ensure your continued growth and success. And, for a little-added assistance, you can always turn to online resources to help you when they’re needed.

 

Get started creating Google and user-friendly content with the help of these tools and resources:

Keyword Density Checker
Ensure you’re within the recommended 2-3% keyword density, in order to maximize your search engine potential, with this quick checker.

Easy Word Count
Keep your content at just the right length with the instantaneous help of Easy Word Count.

On-Page Optimization Tool
Improve your website’s on-page SEO and see it as a search engine spider sees it.

Essayroo
When you’re in need of assistance with your content, from writing to editing, the team at EssayRoo can provide you with any written content-related services.

Cite It In
Make sure you’re giving the proper credit to all of the resources you’re citing with this handy tool. Simply input the resource information and your citation is instantly created for you.

Free Keyword Tool
Optimize your PPC campaigns with more effective keyword selection by taking the guesswork out of your advertising.

UK Writings
For help with content creation or proofreading assistance, UK Writings will provide you with a professional writer to get your project completed flawlessly.

Plagiarism Guides
Don’t get accused of plagiarism and risk the credibility of all the work you do. The plagiarism guides at Australian Help and Academized can help you avoid this costly mistake.

ProWritingAid
Improve your content by adding this tool to your editing arsenal. Editing as you type, it helps you correct mistakes as they’re made and can also give you suggestions for improvements to your work.

Slick Write
Impeccable grammar is an essential component of earning the trust of your readers. Check your grammar and correct any mistakes with this online resource.

Boomessays
The experts at Boom Essays are highly knowledgeable in all subjects and can pair that with their expertise in online content creation to give you an optimal finished product.

Gloria Kopp is a web content writer and an e-learning consultant from Manville city. She graduated from University of Wyoming and started a career of creative writer, now she works as an editor at Resumention. Besides, she is a regular contributor to such websites as Studydemic, HuffingtonPost, Engadget, etc

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