I'm new to mobile app design and I'm looking for some help.

I saw a number of screen sizes available in Adobe XD but I don't know which one is the best to start designing with.

I've heard someone saying that it's better to start with the smallest screen size because it's more compatible when scaling-up to bigger screens.

I'm wondering that is true or not. Is it better to start designing for smaller screens first?

  • 4
    Yes, you design on the smallest 'common' screen. Currently that's usually still the 320x568 format. It's easier to make your content wider than to shrink it. It also forces you to think about what you really need to show and what is essentially fluff. – Wanda Sep 26 '18 at 8:37
  • In addition to @Wanda comment, this is called "mobile first" or "progressive enhancement" and because above mentioned reasons is the adopted dominant logic in designing user interfaces today. – xul Sep 26 '18 at 15:55

Smallest screen size is a good place to start because of what you mentioned; it's easier to design from that state first and adapt upwards.

But, I think there's a more informed and human-centered approach to this. What do you know about how people will interact with your app? Specifically, what's the context and technology that they're using when they need your application?

Armed with that information, you will have a little more guidance on how the interface will create better outcomes based on context, and this is where "start small and scale up" can have some blind spots. The goals of someone interacting with your app on mobile could be vastly different than those of someone using it through a tablet or desktop, and simply scaling your interface might not be the best choice. More importantly, if it is the best choice, you have some information to validate that assumption.

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