I’ve found that over the past several months the phrase mobile first has become part of my standard vocabulary. You may have even noticed that I blogged about the relationship between “Mobile First and the Product Mindset” a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I may have jumped the gun; over the past few weeks, several people, have asked me exactly what I mean by mobile first. It seems as though mobile first isn’t necessarily a part of everyone else’s standard vocabulary.
So, what is mobile first?
Mobile first is a product strategy that considers portable devices, namely smart-phones and tablets, as a primary deployment platform.
Product teams that have a mobile first strategy do more than just deploy mobile versions of their software before, or in conjunction with, a web version. Successfully deploying a mobile first strategy requires the product team to leverage the uniqueness of the mobile device.
So, how is a mobile device different?
Mobile devices have several unique characteristics. A mobile first strategy leverages these characteristics in order to provide greater product value. These characteristics include:
- Their sensory nature. Mobile devices enable verbal queues and commands, touch screens, and optics.
- Their portability and accessibility. Mobile devices provide convenient, always on accessibility.
- Their geo-local awareness. Mobile devices travel with their users and are able to pinpoint their real time location.
- Their personal connection. Mobile devices have become an extension of the human person more than any other device.