Difference Between Mobile First Design Vs Responsive Design

A decade ago smartphone users did not amount to much traffic for websites. But today the scenario has completely changed with almost 40% of the viewers using a mobile device to browse the internet.

The technology and design aspects you choose for your websites user experience matter. They can be the difference between a profitable business and a loss making one. When it comes to designing a website for mobile there are two ways you can design. Either you can choose the mobile first approach or go with a responsive design.

In this article we are going to share the difference between mobile first design and responsive design and which approach is better for your website.

What is mobile first design?

In mobile first design the website layout is first designed with the smaller screens in mind then moving onto bigger screens. The mobile first approach helps create better user experience for mobile users.

The mobile first approach also helps increase the page speed on mobile browsers and make the website navigation seamless.

What is responsive design?

In responsive design the website layout is designed for the desktop first followed by the design for smaller screens. The website’s design automatically adjusts based on the user’s screen size. It can also change based on the device orientation and platform.

The differences between mobile first and responsive design

  1. In mobile first approach the mobile is the base on which the design is planned. Whereas in responsive design it is a desktop-first approach with the main focus given to the device screen size, orientation and platform.
  2. Mobile first design helps in making the pages load quicker on mobile and reduce white space from the page. Whereas responsive design will have longer page load times and unnecessary white space in between elements on smaller screens.
  3. In mobile first design the layout of the page is based on the mobile design whereas in responsive design CSS is used to adjust the design of the page according to the screen size.

Bottom Line

While the responsive design approach might seem feasible on a desktop-ready website. Converting the website to a mobile first design will be the best design decision in the long run. A mobile first design helps keep the page simple, concise and increases the page load speed on mobile devices.

This is not only better for the user experience but also helps you with SEO too, as search engines take into consideration the page speed in rankings. At the rate mobile viewers are increasing it is about time your website uses a mobile first design.

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