Updated: March 23, 2018

Mobile First


Creating a coherent and enjoyable user experience out of a complex business scenario can seem like a daunting task. One approach to this problem is to deconstruct the complexity by focusing on the essentials. “Mobile first” is a great way to facilitate this process.

What is Mobile First?

“Mobile first” means reimagining your approach to complexity by starting with the design of a simple mobile app.

Starting with the smallest and most limited device and later enhancing the app for larger, more powerful devices has many benefits. It implies having to deal with some level of restriction that will force you to find smart ways to reduce, aggregate, group, and default information.

This approach allows you to really focus on what’s important and can lead to amazing innovation in design.


Build up, don’t tear down:  Instead of starting with the desktop design and stripping down the functionality for mobile scenarios, start with the smallest and most limited device and enhance the app for larger, more powerful devices later on. Because the mobile design embodies the core functionality, the “mobile first” approach allows you to focus on enhancement rather than degradation.

Think ahead: Mobile devices also offer unique capabilities, such as sensors, cameras, and voice recognition, which are not always available on desktop devices. By starting with mobile design, it is easier to factor in these additional capabilities from the start instead of plugging them in later.

Improve the user experience: Thinking “mobile first” helps you stay close to the user’s context. For example, network availability and signal strength can be unreliable in mobile scenarios. Giving users the option to continue working offline can therefore be the key to user satisfaction. More importantly, ensuring a seamless experience across different device types is a critical element of business process optimization.

With SAP Fiori, we embrace this design approach as a way to fundamentally redefine the business experience.


Want to dive deeper? Follow the links below to find out more about related controls, the SAPUI5 implementation, and the visual design. 

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