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Mobile First

(A Book Apart #6)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,092 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Our industry’s long wait for the complete, strategic guide to mobile web design is finally over. Former Yahoo! design architect and co-creator of Bagcheck Luke Wroblewski knows more about mobile experience than the rest of us, and packs all he knows into this entertaining, to-the-point guidebook. Its data-driven strategies and battle tested techniques will make you a maste ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by A Book Apart (first published January 1st 2011)
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Responsive Web Design by Ethan MarcotteDesigning for Emotion by Aarron WalterHTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy KeithMobile First by Luke WroblewskiCSS3 For Web Designers by Dan Cederholm
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  2,092 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it
As noted in the introduction, this isn't a book with code examples to work from (see Ethan Marcotte's Responsive Web Design if you want more of that). Wroblewski is looking at the big picture rather than implementation - the whys and best practices rather than the how-to.

I was already interested in developing mobile-first, but the first section of the book makes a solid case for it and provides enough statistics to help me convince other people. I found the best practices sections very useful, w
Graham Herrli
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: design-related
Luke Wroblewsky can write well. This book is full of data and precise examples that make a clearly defined case for designing for mobile first. He considers the constraints (such as screen size, frequently lower bandwidth, a distracted audience) and capabilities (such as accelerometers, location detection, and inbuilt cameras) that make designing for mobile unique. He considers how to lay out information in a manner suited to mobile, interpret mobile-specific actions (touches), and collect input ...more
Alex Texter
Feb 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: design
While this book makes a compelling case for mobile first development, only the first third ends up actually advocating the practice. After a couple chapters citing off statistics and defining the difference between the desktop and mobile, the rest of the book is a consideration of content organization, best practices, and layout. Unfortunately in this day and age the anyone who has used a phone and even thought about designing for it has likely realized these already and doesn't need eighty page ...more
Ben Weiner
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
not what I expected, which may have been my fault. this book makes the case for why your business needs to focus on mobile, contains a good discussion of how experiences will differ by device (outside of technical or physical properties), and a popular overview of mobile design patterns. what I was looking for was more a discussion of considerations for implementing responsive web design and more of what it means to start with mobile first. unfortunately, ive heard the book on responsive web des ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting and very insightful, though I thought it a bit unrealistic in terms of the real world using these strategies, and wished the author had occasionally included some code.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, e-book
I'll admit I probably should have read this book back when Luke Wroblewski wrote it, but I didn't think I needed to. I had attended one of the An Event Apart conferences where Luke presented the ideas the book is based on, and I followed him pretty closely on Twitter at the time, so most of what is in the book I'd learned through other means.

But it's been seven years, and I'm introducing a new company to mobile design for the first time, so it was time for me to take a refresher course. This bo
Cloud Rigger
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design
This made me think so hard I can't bother reviewing in english. I'll make an effort though.

This was a very interesting zoom on the state of web design shortly after the mobile boom. There's an abundance of data to not only justify but also understand the thoughts process behind design choices that still seem relevant. This book made me realize how much we've forsaken some of the most insolite features of the iphone's debuts in our casual browsing habits nowadays. The tilt scrolling and other acc
David Bilbo
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed some of the high level approach realignments and the foundation of this book is exceptionally solid. The only issue is that this industry is in such a growth period and changing so rapidly, it could use some updating.
Shoaib Mahmud
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
Luke Wroblewski is a good writer & speaker. I read his website & watched his videos on youtube. But I think this book contains information that are not useful in 2020. Sorry Lube but I love his UX Talk. He has a good sense of humor.
Nidia Carrillo
Apr 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a must-read book for any Front-end Developer or Designer. It is well explained and easy to read and understand. I really enjoyed it. It was a reference and, still today, I usually can go back an re read concepts that are still applicable.
May 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: might-read
Maybe this would've been great if I had read it YEARS ago but most of these 'discoveries' are common sense. Just watch Luke's YouTube videos then you'll gain most of what he has to say and more. ...more
Grant Baker
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The little book that started it all. Well, I suppose it may have been the article first, but this came soon after.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ui-ux
It's a great book but outdated now. ...more
Libranner Leonel
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a little outdated, but it has really good concepts you can still use. ...more
Vytas Ramanauskas
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Principles are universal, the path is yours. Great one for main principles, also good for the mindset of how to achieve more with putting less to the screen. Thumbs up!
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Pretty outdated nowadays, but it has a Gowalla screenshot, so 3 star review :)
Jun 28, 2020 added it
read for school so no rating
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a quick read. It contains all the information that you need about Mobile First design. The author is experienced in the filed and he knows what he is talking about. There are few things to be learn even if you are experienced software developer. As accessing the internet from mobile is increasing every day this is must read.
Stan Skrabut
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In June and July, had Luke Wroblewski give two presentations on mobile learning: Mobile First and Organizing Mobile Web Experiences. While I did not have the opportunity to attend the presentations, I did hear good things about his book Mobile First*.

I received Mobile First on Thursday and read it in one sitting. The book is 123 pages of useful material spread out across two parts and seven chapters. Part one focuses on why you should pursue a mobile initiative, some of the constra
Chris McDonnell
Apr 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: design
Most memorable quote
"Screens are small, networks are unreliable, and people can find themselves in all kinds of situations when they pull out their mobile devices. But these constraints are not only good for business, they're good for design as well. This is especially true if you subscribe to the adage that design is the process of gradually applying constraints until an elegant solution remains."

Tweet review
LukeW articulates a mindset change in a concise, high level review that prepares a desi
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
The main purpose of this book is to convince you, the developer, (and perhaps your boss, client, etc) to develop on the web for a general mobile experience. The argument is definately won now, and so the book feels a little dated, but the case the author puts forward is well stated and compelling. 

This is not a book of code, so don't expect to find 'how-to' instructions on where to begin. In fact, this is much more a book of analytics and statistics. Wroblewski is adept at presenting a balanced,
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech
The first half of the book is largely devoted to why you should make a mobile website, and why to design it ahead of your website for PC browsers. If you are already sold on that idea, you can safely skip it.

The second half of the book is full of really helpful interaction design insights, aimed at UX professionals who work mainly on websites for PCs, and are making a transition to designing for mobile. If that describes you, you should read this book. I also appreciated that its focus is on the
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Part 2 (How to go Mobile), while not wildly technical, focused on the considerations on how to go mobile. Things like responsive design, big buttons, and organizing for action. This will probably be less interesting for most, however Part 1 (the first 3 chapters) I'd highly recommend.

In Part 1 (Why Mobile First?) Luke talks about the amazing growth of mobile, the user experience improvements you'll discover as you embrace the mobile constraints such as the screen size, and then he talks about th
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a web designer, It's a challenge to design in browser and thinking of mobile first. I get used to the photoshop and absolutely love the tool. I can collect my ideas really quick and just focus on the design. When I am designing in browser and starting with the mobile first, the screen size and making the theme responsive kinda distract my attention and make me feel hard to only focus on designing. But I am happy to start with the mobile first so I am able to notice the contraints of the mobil ...more
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Luke Wrobewski presents a strong argument for designing for mobile devices first, as opposed to simply resizing a traditional website to fit mobile devices' smaller screens. User experience, approaching a mobile project with the expectation of having only half the user's attention means content-centric design/redesign is likely to be the most successful design approach.

Balancing client wants with audience needs is an old problem and may prove to be a larger challenge than before, as mobile web b
Nov 19, 2011 rated it liked it
While not entirely what I expected, lukew gives readers a lot to think about when considering a mobile strategy. Since I'm more of a developer than a biz dev guy, I would have appreciated more technical examples. To the author's credit, he did point out in the intro that Mobile First was not a technical book and the examples he did use perfectly illustrated the issues he wants website architects to consider. Overall, this book is a good primer for anyone new to thinking about the mobile web expe ...more
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Web developers, web designers and project managers
For any business or tech-related book I purchase, as long as I get one good idea from it, I consider it worth the purchase price. I came out of this book with a new mental model and one good idea. Luke W. has really done his research and homework, offering some juicy statistics on mobile and opens up the conversation concerning whether to treat mobile as its own form of media or as its own platform. While there are no hard and fast answers, there are plenty of links to follow up on the topic and ...more
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
An excellent overview with enough meat to be inspiring without getting bogged down in minutia. This is a book for someone with solid skills in design and development (or who has a team of such people) that is looking for an overview of the problem and approaches to solving it. It is not a how-to by any stretch and I think someone just learning about developing for the web would be frustrated by quick light pace. That said, there are many jumping off points (I haven't pursued yet) that probably h ...more
Lars K Jensen
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A short, to-the-point book about the importance of applying a mobile focus to your design.

You should note that the book is from 2011. That doesn't take anything away from the foundation in/beneath it - but must of the things in 'Mobile First' will probably have reached you in another way.

Still, it might be the perfect book to give to your boss or colleagues to get your mobile first strategy heard, understood and accepted.

I give it four stars, but if it was published today I would give it three.
Ryan Swarts
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great overview on mobile first as a design philosophy. Luke draws on years of form design experience and provides good examples of what to do and what not to do when designing for the small (and medium) screen. Not very technical, but I think that makes it successful and accessible as a book that people will actually read. If you want in-depth development instruction, look to for a book on mobile. ...more
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LukeW is an internationally recognized digital product leader who has designed or contributed to software used by more than 700 million people worldwide.

Luke was Co-founder and Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Bagcheck which was acquired by Twitter Inc. just nine months after being launched publicly. Prior to this, Luke was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Benchmark Capital and the Chief Design

Other books in the series

A Book Apart (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • HTML5 for Web Designers
  • CSS3 For Web Designers
  • The Elements of Content Strategy
  • Responsive Web Design
  • Designing for Emotion
  • Design Is a Job
  • Content Strategy for Mobile
  • Just Enough Research
  • Sass for Web Designers
  • On Web Typography

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