Moving from Mobile Friendly to Mobile First: Part I

08 Feb 2016
by John Foley
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The following is an excerpt from my book, “Untethered Marketing: The Role of the Cloud and Mobile Communication.” To read the full book, please visit

In today’s technology-centered world, it is simply not acceptable to consumers to have to access a standard website from a mobile device. They expect websites these days to be mobile friendly. But for many marketers, even mobile friendly is not enough. Many are rapidly moving towards mobile first.

iPhoneWhat do I mean by mobile first? First, let’s refresh our thoughts on mobile friendly. For many companies, this meant “dumbing down” their regular website, removing and resizing content to make it fit the screen. But that approach does not offer the opportunity to focus on what mobile users really want from a site. Nor does it do a good job of facilitating engagement. Sure, the information is there for those who are looking. The key difference between PC users and mobile users is that mobile users are focused. PC users are generally multitasking between work, play, and casual research. Mobile users are on the go and want fast answers. They are also usually transaction-oriented. They may be looking to buy a specific item, compare prices, or find a location nearby that carries something they are interested in – and they are not willing to dig through layers of web content to get that information. If your site doesn’t offer what they are looking for, a competitor’s surely does!

And, you also can’t assume that something designed for a mobile phone will also be appropriate for a tablet. Tablet users fall somewhere in between PC and smartphone users. They are focused in the sense that they are focused on the tablet experience, and the depth of rich content they can get via that medium. They are likely not multitasking as much as a PC user would be. But they are willing to take more time and gain a broader experience than the average smartphone user. So, perhaps they would like to see a video of your product, or watch a video interview of one of your executives or customers. If you are a restaurant owner, they might want to peruse your menu or wine list and get details about other offerings. A smartphone user is more likely to want to make a reservation, look up directions, or take a quick – one could say superficial – look at the menu.

So, what steps do you need to take to make the move from mobile friendly to mobile first? Click here to read Part II to learn more!

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