Last week, I touched briefly on why performance matters and how it affects brand perception. Let’s look now to how we achieve improved performance – and how we integrate performance into our design process from the start.
At New Kind, when we begin a new digital project – we approach it from a mobile-first perspective. This is really an extension of “progressive enhancement” a concept that’s been around a long-time, coined by a fellow Raleighite Steven Champeon in 2003. Essentially, progressive enhancement is a methodology centered on serving only the most fundamental content and styles to all devices to ensure a usable experience. Then, add additional styles and functionality to devices that are capable of handling those enhancements.
Likewise, with mobile-first design, we build a site to be native to a mobile-sized device – and add enhancements for larger displays only when they are being used.
Because we natively serve a mobile experience, our images being served are small, our styles are lightweight, and our interactions are tailored for a small device. We ensure that small devices aren’t being asked to download data that they can’t or won’t be using – reducing page-size and load time.
Next Week: Digging into the mobile-first approach.