At this point, I hope the small idea of designing and building for mobile first has given you lots of big ideas for the web. Today’s mobile device is our true personal computer: always with us, connected to the network, and filled with new capabilities for getting things done, communicating with each other, and just killing some time. Starting with this personal and portable device in mind first allows us to:
- Take advantage of the enormous growth in mobile internet usage and find new ways for people to use our websites and applications.
- Embrace mobile constraints to focus and prioritize the services we’re designing and building.
- Use mobile capabilities to innovate the complete customer experience.
- Take what we know about designing for the web and start thinking differently about mobile organization, actions, inputs, and layout.
It doesn’t take a lot more than that but here’s a few parting tips to help you along.
- Whenever possible, test your designs and code on actual mobile devices. Simulators and desktop browsers are not substitutes for the real thing.
- If you can’t get your hands on a few mobile devices, head over to a local mobile device shop and look at your mobile web experience on their floor models.
- Prototype, prototype, prototype. The sooner a mobile web experience is in your hands, the faster you’ll know if it works in the real world.
And last but not least, don’t be afraid to start small. Some of the biggest successes in mobile today came from small experiments and teams of passionate web designers and developers. You don’t need to know everything about mobile—just take what you do know and go.