It’s no surprise, then, that mobile-first and responsive design have become hot topics among web designers, digital agencies, and tech-forward companies. However, despite popular usage, these terms are not synonymous. Responsive design and mobile-first design are two entirely different design strategies.
Is one approach better than the other? Is there a right and wrong approach? The short answer is no. But let’s dive in and discuss the nuances of each.
By the end of this article, you will learn:
- The difference between mobile-first design and responsive design
- The pros and cons of each design strategy
- Best practices for each design strategy
- How to choose the best design strategy for your specific needs
Mobile-First Design vs. Responsive Design
To start, let’s define these two terms.
Mobile-first design is a strategy that starts the design process from the smallest screen size — mobile. Not only does this ensure that the website is 100% optimized for mobile, but it also provides a better experience for users interacting with the website on their mobile devices. Once the mobile sketch or prototype is complete, you move on to the desktop design.