Since the onset of mobile a lot of people haven’t thought of much else - just mobile, mobile, mobile! And yes most audiences are on mobile, so it makes sense for you to be there too. But your audience probably hasn’t left their other screens. A single screen size or device doesn’t rule because the technology you choose to use depends on what task you’re trying to accomplish. It’s based on the context of use and need.
As Intercom points out in their article “Why Mobile First is Outdated”:
“There is still much fast paced change regarding what size screen is best suited for different contexts. Not long ago, it was all about phones and tablets and people laughed at the new phablet category. Fast forward to today, and the phablet is the most popular form for a new device (although thankfully we’ve dropped the janky term), and tablet sales are stagnating. The optimal screen size is still a moving target. Not to mention how small screens on wrists might change things again in 12–24 months.
So how should we be thinking about all this? I believe we’ve been looking at “mobile” using the wrong frame of reference. For years I’ve pushed the idea that “mobile” is not about devices, it’s about access to consuming and publishing information. For me, obsessing about specific devices was a bad path (they change too frequently), obsessing about iOS versus Android OS was a bad path (they are both important) and obsessing about phone versus tablet was a bad path (they have merged into one larger category of portable screen and continue to evolve all the time). Information via screens not devices — this is the key idea.”
The main point is “what really matters is screens, not devices”.
It’s not to say a mobile first project is wrong, it’s a good reminder to be cautious when you are starting a project that you aren’t simply focusing on mobile because you’re suppose to, but that you have researched and planned to come to that conclusion. I can think of several successful mobile-first projects that we have completed with partners, but it was often a decision that we came upon after seeing the evidence for mobile-first through diligent discovery and analysis.
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