The digital landscape in which we live in has changed dramatically. Companies within the UAE have realized that consumers are now able to access more content on their mobile devices than anywhere else. The sheer number of connected devices today are staggering. This in itself is an indicator that businesses should consider adopting a mobile-first strategy in their marketing tactics if they haven’t done it already.
The United Arab Emirates began this shift to mobile services from the early 2010’s. Today it has become one of the few smart cities in the world. Everyday life has been moved to mobile devices from paying bills to governing and policing. We need to understand that mobile does not refer to your smartphone or your tablet, to be precise it is a combination of any wireless device that enable us to compute or connect for instance our Fitbit, smartwatches, home controllers and so on. Think about how much work you can do on your laptop, tablet and smartphones. Each device is used differently. If we look at this from a mobile first point of view our smartphones and tablets are lighter, have larger screens and take up less space than the lightest laptop. We are able to easily access the world at the palm of our hand. This does not mean that your laptop has become obsolete it just means your handheld device has more value to you; specifically in today’s world that is in a constant state of urgency since instant gratification has become almost a necessity.
Hence, most of today’s population are dependent on the ease of mobility; this is why companies today are even more focused on their mobile platforms. Mobile first enables you to view the site easily from the palm of your hand without having to zoom in and out between each line or page. Initially coined by Luke Wroblewski; mobile first has since been gained more momentum and recognition within the design community. It is not about preference to a certain type of audience or differentiation between a mobile or PC user instead it deals with designing, developing and marketing the best website experience for your users; then scaling the service to whichever device your audience is using to optimize their experience while (improving and changing the impression of your business), all the while keeping pace with the change in technology and user behavior so you are able to convert your leads to sales or enquiries.
Mobile first has now become the new face of not only marketing but doing business. Most companies have dedicated teams to optimize their mobile sites. The digital world today represents an unprecedented opportunity for companies to reinvent themselves. Since 2017 along with the emergence of the most prominent tech i.e. social applications, mobile technology, data analytics and cloud infrastructure the global market has grown to an approx. US $ 1.2 Trillion. Mobile-friendly and mobile first are two similar but different concepts. It is also important to know your users needs. Although most people are likely to use their mobile for small purchases, more important tasks such as planning a trip or booking a flight are mostly done via PC’s. As you make the transition here are a few things to keep in minds:
Focus on the content and functionality of your site.
When designing for mobile-first, keep in mind that although look and feel are important; the content and functionality of your site are key. Creating a design for a limited screen size requires different thinking. Unlike your desktop version where you have space to display all your business information, mobile design constricts this. Souq for instance perfectly caters to shoppers who are able looking for a specific item or for those who’d like to just browse through categories of their interest. The site also greets you with the deal of the day, current offers or sale while providing trending products and popularly visited or featured categories.
With so many devices having different screen sizes available now and with new designs coming out every year making your size adapt to the screen size and layout of every new device will become overly expensive. Hence, it is important to make your design fluid. Create a design that gives you a clear flow but looks stunning on any device, so you save a fortune on web development.
New technology is constantly being developed. Unlike desktops, our handheld devices on the other hand are constantly updated this gives us access to so many more possibilities. This is the perfect platform to not only update your site but also improve and add new tech to your mobile site such as audio and video input, location info via GPS and so on. Like google maps it looks almost uncanny to its application but overtime now allows you to navigate locations either by cycling, walking, driving or even using public transport.
Don’t forget mobility is the new status quo, adaptability isn’t everything and there is always space for change and new tech. Investing a little in the initial stages not only helps you iron out issues but will lead you to smoother, cost effective and successful solutions; that would not only increase your leads but also improve your user’s journey. Remember first impressions last; so if your initial impression on your mobile site is poor realistically you’ve already lost that user. When shifting to mobile first keep in mind, every tiny element you add to your web page matters. Mobile first is now the new face of marketing not only within the UAE but worldwide. While people might be skeptical about this platform it is important to realize that mobile is the way of the future where even small businesses now use the internet and their smartphones to grow their companies. Although it might seem like a task to switch to mobile first you can always work out the kinks later…..either way its a win win for your mobile site.