Top Reasons To Adopt A Mobile-First Strategy

This article was written by Rob O’Regan and orig­i­nally appeared in Emedia Vitals on September 19, 2012.

When Quartz, Atlantic Media’s new business brand, debuts on Monday, it will be “mobile-first and tablet-focused.” It’s a model that may represent the future of publishing.

Quartz editor in chief Kevin Delaney told The Economist recently that the Quartz wireframe is designed for the tablet. “We’re reversing what publishers have traditionally done,” he said. Using HTML5 and responsive design, Quartz will feature not only tablet-friendly content and design, but innovative ad units as well. “On the commercial front, we’re looking to disrupt through nonstandard ad units and customization of ad creative to the mobile platform by our own developers,” Atlantic Media President Justin Smith told BtoB.

Is mobile first the wave of the future? It’s almost a no-brainer for new brands to adopt a mobile-first approach, since they have no legacy (print or web) platform or processes to worry about. Established magazine brands face a higher hurdle, since a mobile-first strategy requires them to rebuild existing designs, workflows and products to better serve their increasingly mobile audience.

Forbes Chief Product Officer Lewis D’Vorkin said he “fixates” on mobile, and with good reason: The share of mobile traffic to Forbes’ website has increased from 10% to 25% in just 10 months, and “there’s no question that our mobile traffic will continue to rise,” D’Vorkin said.

Expected enhancements in what D’Vorkin calls Phase Two of the company’s mobile strategy include a new photo gallery solution that is optimized for mobile, new designs designed to drive more clilcks – a big challenge on a 3- or 4-inch smartphone screen – and new monetization opportunities.

Other traditional media players are following suit. USA Today’s redesign, which debuted last week, was clearly created with a tablet experience in mind. The new design features “a layout that may make visitors attempt to swipe at their desktop screens,” AdAge’s Jason Del Rey wrote.

What’s driving this admitted fixation on tablets and smartphones? Three main trends are pushing mobile publishing toward a tipping point.

Read the rest of the article here.

Header image source: GFI