Website design has always been fairly straight forward affair. For those with technical knowledge and expertise, building a website from scratch was the ultimate proof of their ability. For those without such expertise, it became fairly easy to simply purchase a pre-designed theme via WordPress, Wix and other developers in order to give your website a great look without much effort.
However, a significant paradigm shift happened 2 years ago (in 2016) with far reaching effects which a lot of web-designers are still grappling with till today. Many remain ignorant of this shift while others struggle to adjust.
What Happened in 2016?
On Tuesday November 1st 2016 StatCounter, an online Global Statistics company, announced that for the first time in history, mobile and tablet internet usage surpassed desktop internet usage worldwideand it has never gone back since.
This seemingly innocuous event was more than just a news piece; for every web designer worth his salt it was a game changer.
What Does This Mean?
Apart from the more obvious fact that people today are doing more of their online activity through the use of mobile phones, it also means that website themselves have to be built primarily for mobile and tablet viewing not desktop viewing. This turns on its head the age old approach of building for desktop and then adapting to mobile devices. The primary focus now should be on the appearance, functionality and navigability of your site via mobile phone since that is most of your visitors will be accessing it from. Any Professional Web Designing Company in the USA and world over understand the need to employ this mobile first approach.
For many developers, the strategy of converting websites to mobile applications has been a relatively quick way to adjust to this new paradigm shift.But that introduces some new challenges, especially as a lot of mobile phone users are reluctant to download apps which they do not feel the need to use frequently. So while an app may be a good idea, adopting the conversion method would essentially boil down to the functionality of your website, and just how relevant the function is to the user. The primary focus still has to be on designing websites primarily for mobile.
Another Interesting implication especially as it concerns SEO optimization and discoverability of website is that Google search engines have also adjusted their algorithm to favour mobile friendly websites over others. CEO of StatCounterAodhan Cullen stated in an interview that“Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results. “
So in conclusion, web design is no longer about building for desktop and adjusting to mobile phones, or simply converting websites to application format; the new rule in web design is this- build with mobile phones first in mind.