Mobile view in web-app not necessary?

In your industry-specific web-app project, have you found strong discussion against prioritizing the mobile view of a web-app due to “customers haven’t asked for or users don’t use our product like that”, do you think such statements are strong enough to not include mobile view into the design of a web-app?

In my case this comes from product managers for a Data Analytics web-app for telco industry.
Thanks beforehand.

Welcome to the community @Marco_Lopez! I don’t really understand your question. Are you asking if you should design for both mobile and desktop versions of an app?

Hi Jdebari, sorry if it was not clear, I meant, I wanted to know about experiences where Mobile responsiveness for web-apps is not considered relevant or important by product managers, then the back and forth discussions rises. I find myself in a situation where I see PM ditching the mobile design part of the web-app because customer hasn’t asked for it.

Best practice is to always do a responsive design. Do mobile first and then the larger sizes.

The argument that customers haven’t asked for it is weak because they may not even know they can. If you have analytics you can see which devices people are accessing the web app from. Without that, it’s just opinions.

Hope that helps.

I agree with @jdebari, users won’t likely ask for mobile specifically although they may expect it and think it’s broken. Users don’t and shouldn’t be asking for features, users have problems, not solutions.

That being said, I get why you’re asking the question. If the PM is basing users “asking” for it based on analytics of existing applications, then it’s a fair priority. Working in a specific industry and maybe within a specific context can dictate the value of designing for mobile first. Realistically, are users even allowed to use mobile? Can they access the web app from personal devices? Do you have analytics telling you usage?

I would also break the question into three separate questions:

  • As a product team, should we create/use a responsive solution?
  • For the design, should we design for mobile first as a priority?

For the first one, the answer is always yes. For the little bit of extra effort, creating or using a pre-built responsive templating system like Bootstrap will save you heartache in the future. You’ll get benefits even if every user is sitting on a desktop computer.

For the second one, this really depends on your usage statistics, user research, and application type. If users aren’t allowed to or the usage is only on large screens, and the application type doesn’t make sense for mobile, it could be detrimental to design mobile first. Certain mobile design conventions just aren’t optimal for a highly interactive desktop business app, a wall display, systems control dashboard or other myriad of uses for a web application. I highlight user research above because you really need a solid understanding of your users and question if your PM’s making assumptions with how users access the application or has evidence to support their decision.

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