By Yann Gourvenec, CEO of Visionary Marketing, With Alexandre Jubien
In terms of mobile web, a long way has been traveled since the beginnings of responsive design. Do we remember for example that Apple.com did not have a mobile compatible site in 2012? These times are over and in 2019, it is imperative to think “mobile first”. But this requires changing the way we design our content and our sites and adapt much more radically to mobile interfaces. I asked Alexandre Jubien , speaker and mobile expert, to share his experience and his vision in this area, following his comment on an article published some time ago in these columns .
Mobile first: a new idea that dates from 2011
The idea of designing for mobile before the desktop appeared in 2011 with the book of Luke Wroblewski: ” mobile first “. In his founding book, the founder of Polar and former Chief Design Architect at Yahoo! announces the color from the introduction: “[…] This book, in addition to preparing you for the exponential growth of the new possibilities offered by the mobile Internet, will lead you to focus on the essential and allow you to innovate d ‘a radically new way’.
Alexandre Jubien: “The main challenge of the future will be to get advertisers and agencies to change their content design and validation methods”
This book was visionary. “One of its key concepts was to first understand the content in the most constrained environment that is mobile, then adapt it on tablet and desktop” and not the other way around me entrusted Alexandre.
Beyond responsive design
In 2018 Gartner recommends a Design Thinking approach in a report where he describes the different techniques, and the compromises needed for each, in order to design mobile applications and sites.
The responsive web design allows a correct consultation on different screen sizes and it has now completely imposed itself. Only a minority of latecomers, usually SMEs, do not have a responsive website .
Beyond the responsive design however, a large number of techniques exist to design its contents for the mobile. All are not equivalent and compromises are necessary for each of them.
From a simple technical improvement, the mobile design first has quickly become a strategic approach for the most advanced companies. “This is the case of BlaBlacar, for example, who took the gamble, in some countries, to open its solution first on mobile and then on desktop, hence the name mobile first,” says Alexandre Jubien.
In India, the famous start-up had even deleted its website in 2015 . It should be noted that in the meantime the website has returned showing that if it is necessary to think mobile first, do not draw hasty conclusions and think that mobile first wants to systematically say mobile only.
2015, the advent of “mobile only”
This concept of mobile only surfaced 4 years later, 8 years after the release of the first iPhones and more than 10 years after the first generations of connected PDAs .
Since 2015, “under the strong push of the mobile use appeared new concepts, strongly promoted by the stars of the social networks Instagram and Snapchat” explains us Alexandre. “These applications can only be used on mobile,” he adds. “They always have a web presence, but only dedicated to discovering the application.”
These strategies are consistent since some of the users use almost no more than their mobile to browse the internet, but as we saw above with Blablacar, the mobile first does not impose all in the same way .
The share of mobile in the search for information on the Internet is varied according to the sectors but it is largely majority in certain major sectors of the economy. Source Statista 2018 in the USA .
Mobile time marketing
Google searches are now largely mobile-based (with notable differences across sectors, see figures below). Emails are most often open on the mobile phone ( from 40% to 80% in Finland according to the CSP ), and the videos follow the same movement ( 62% of mobile share in the world in 2018 ).
In short, the mobile has become completely unavoidable, even if the time spent on this terminal is two-thirds reserved for four activities: entertainment, social media, instant messaging and games.
Figure 1Comscore has detailed the proportion of mobile uses by country. It shows big disaparities according to the country (Comscore, Global Digital Future in Focus 2018 )
Alexandre Jubien adds a precision of size: “In fact, it is not only the sites that must be built around the mobile, it is all marketing media that is concerned. But today, most campaigns are still designed and validated on desktop.
New mobile first formats arrive on the market
Nevertheless, new video formats are now appearing. Brut (co-founded by Renaud Lacroix who had distinguished himself at Studio Bagel with humorous videos to success including the famous viral advertising Orangina “Operation 404” ) showed the way at the end of 2016 with the avowed goal of embarking on the conquest of younger audiences (and by far the most addicted to mobile ).
These new video formats can do without audio, because they are subtitled with text big enough to be easily read on mobile and all in a square format.
“The logic should be the same for advertising” insists Alexander. You can not ask a user to make an effort by flipping their mobile to watch your spot. The horizontal format adapted to the TV is to be banned.
Bring advertisers to change their content production methods
With this advent of mobile marketing first, are being born a whole new set of solutions like the FastStory widget . Indeed, sponsored “infeed ” stories can appear directly in the native stream of social networks without interrupting it.
Mobile means completely reviewing the way content is conceived and validated.
So how do you envisage the future of mobile content? Should we expect a future where we stop everything we do and where we only produce mobile content first?
“In fact the big stake is not there” warns Alexander. It is rather a change of method but that does not mean that we must stop producing content for desktop.
“The main challenge for the future will be to get advertisers and agencies to change their content design and validation methods.”
Great efforts will have to be made because we have to admit that we are not there yet and that “too often, we design content behind our 27 inch iMac screens while the real user has a mini screen of less than 6 inches behind him “. Today the tools are not yet necessarily very adapted, but “to validate at least on mobile first if the mobile is more important for our contents, especially if we create them for social networks, seems logical” concludes Alexandre Jubien.
In short, it’s a whole industry, the young content industry, not just video content but all types of content, which will have to reinvent itself in the next 5 years. Unless this revolution is even faster than that.
By Yann Gourvenec, CEO of Visionary Marketing, With Alexandre Jubien