On “Mobile First”

  1. Identify the content critical to the smaller screen.
  2. Once you’ve done that, consider that content to be the information accessible to all your readers, regardless of how wide (or small) their screen happens to be.
  3. If there’s additional information you’d like to include on wider viewports, consider it an enhancement.

Adopting this “mobile first” mindset won’t necessarily change the implementation, but it will inform the way you plan the design of your conditionally loaded content. It’ll help avoid the trap of thinking of smaller screens as somehow deserving of “less” content—especially when our audiences are becoming increasingly (if not exclusively) mobile-oriented.

Ethan Marcotte, “Responsive Design: Patterns & Principles

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