Is “Mobile First” technology or behaviour?

Photo used with permission from Tokyo Fashion, thanks.

One of the biggest challenges for UX professionals is explaining that User Experience is not the same as User Interface Design.

The term Mobile First is facing similar challenges. Does Mobile First really mean a responsive user interface developed initially to work on mobile devices for then to add elements as the screen estate grows bigger?

Or is Mobile First really a behaviour?

A recent article written by Mark Freeman from Movement for The Guardian asks “Is mobile really ‘first’?” and it questions whether the fanatical quest for making everything responsive really is the right way?

Indeed, the desktop sometimes has advantages over mobile. One size does not always fit all, and taking this approach could close off some creative avenues and lead to homogeneity.

He is right. Mobile optimized interfaces isn’t the best option by default. It comes down to the behaviour. Why is the user here in the first place?

I think Mobile First isn’t about mobile devices, technologies or mobile interfaces.

Mobile First is about the behaviour the increasingly pervasive Internet is giving us, yes, through our mobile devices but also through digital touch-points in public space,  digitally enhanced physical experiences and even presentation of physical objects digitally for convenience.

Mobile First is describing how we are becoming always connected and the Internet is increasingly with us (part of us?) in every aspect of our lives.

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