Why “Mobile first” may already be outdated

Posted by | May 28, 2015 | Uncategorized | No Comments

What matters is screens, not devices. For a number of years now, we’ve all been hit over the head time and again with “mobile first” and “mobile only”. Those of us building software since before the iPhone have hacked our brains, our companies, to ensure we start thinking “mobile first” rather than web first. But if “mobile” is our future, why are almost all the most successful mobile driven businesses building web apps designed for larger screens?


There is still much fast paced change regarding what size screen is best suited for different contexts. 12 months 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.

If you’re designing and building software to sell to employees or companies, and that includes everything from enterprise software to calendar and to-do apps, you better be thinking about big screens as well as small ones. It’s not just about mobile-first.

What matters is screens not devices, then the idea of a “mobile only” business may in fact be a small niche of consumer businesses. As most of these disruptive mobile businesses mature, they realise they need to serve their users when they are in front of larger screens as well as smaller ones, and that happens a lot more frequently than they might have initially thought. Mobile screens may still be their most important and dominant channel, but it is not their only one.

If “mobile first” is no longer your dogma, then what is? At Intercom our dogma is the Jobs-to-Be-Done framework. Focusing on what Jobs your users are trying to do. Servicing those Jobs where they happen. Servicing them with the right depth of product experience: maybe a glance on a watch is best, maybe a 40 inch screen dashboard view is best. Servicing them in a way that takes advantage of the situational context of use – no one is bringing their iMac to the beach, and no-one is writing the board deck on their phone. So think about the screen best suited for input, and the screen best suited for output.

Read more: https://blog.intercom.io/why-mobile-first-may-already-be-outdated/?utm_campaign=hiten-dot-com&utm_medium=email&utm_source=saas-weekly38