“Mobile first” is a new way of thinking about how users interact with content, specifically with websites and online data. Since the introduction of the smartphone there has been a greater interest in getting online whenever and wherever possible, which has led to the new mobile first paradigm.
The Reasons Behind Mobile First
When the internet first entered the popular consciousness, the PC era was just getting started for home users. Screens were large back then, but resolutions were comparatively low – 800×600 pixels was common.
Websites were often fixed at a particular resolution and using a lower resolution (for example 640×480) would mean scrolling the window to see all the content, while higher resolution (like 1024×768) could make content difficult to read.
Mobile devices offered an entirely different screen resolution. Screen could be much lower resolution and were often “sideways” compared to traditional monitors. By around 2015 websites were increasingly built to cope with this by being responsive and scaling images and text to fit whatever device accessed them.
But why did this change happen? Simply, mobile device usage began to outstrip desktop PC usage. If you access the internet, a phone, tablet, or mobile device of any kind is now the most convenient option.
Of course, many of these mobile devices don’t use wi-fi networks – they use cell data (“mobile data”) which is often limited by contracts or charged at a high rate. Websites adapted and compression techniques were adopted to minimize the amount of data sent or received to compensate for this.
The Effect of Mobile First on Your Business
In businesses that value mobility, devices are already in use for accessing business systems and data. The drive towards mobile first is beneficial in that data will become easier to access on mobile devices, as well as loading more quickly and simple to use.
This can mean that users of traditional desktop devices may get left behind. When everything is designed for mobile, larger screens may look odd, and the lack of touchscreen support in most monitors will leave something lacking from the experience.
It is therefore vital that all employees who need to work in this manner have access to mobile devices that work efficiently – but therein lies a cost.
Managing a Mobile Workforce
If your workforce demands mobility, you need to keep on top of all the devices being used. Security updates are one thing but knowing the difference between a device that is experiencing a problem and one that is underpowered can be difficult.
Similarly, each device may have a different usage contract. Where one user can freely download data as part of the deal, another may be limited to accessing 500MB – and then the charges go through the roof.
If you’re unsure as to which mobile device is most suitable for your business, don’t understand quite how your data contracts work, or have concerns about mobile security, you should seriously consider consulting a Mobility Lifecycle Management (MLM) company. The clarity an expert opinion can bring is worth its weight in gold and can easily save you money when you’re trying to ensure your entire workforce is ready to work in a mobile first world.