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Mobile First Improvements in Drupal 8

Michael GirgisWritten by Michael Girgis
Apr 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

A large area of focus for Drupal 8 was to make the experience more mobile friendly, from the installation to authoring experience. New features in Drupal 8, as well as those you’re used to from Drupal 7, are designed for mobile, making it easier to edit or make changes to your Drupal site from any device.

Drupal 8 is built for an increasingly mobile-first world. Everything in Drupal 8 supports responsive design, so your site will appeal to your visitors and content editors no matter what device they use. With a responsive site you eliminate annoying screen pinching and zooming so your website will be a breeze to navigate. Users will spend more time on your site when content is easy to read and digest, and they can get to what they're looking for efficiently.

Mobile Phone

Here are a few of the mobile first improvements you can find in Drupal 8, and modules that can create a more mobile first experience for your Drupal 7 website.

Responsive Design For All Core Themes

All core themes are now responsive and automatically resize elements such as menus and blocks to fit mobile devices. There is also support for responsive images, so large desktop images are properly resized to display on a tablet or mobile phone. Drupal 8 also allows you to choose different styles for individual images. The various styles will be used for different device sizes. There are also responsive base themes available for Drupal 7, including Omega and Zen.

Responsive Tables

Drupal 8 also now supports responsive tables. When building a table, you can declare each column to be high, medium, or low importance. On wide screens, all the columns will be shown as intended, but as screen size shrinks the least important columns will begin dropping off so that the table shows nicely no matter the screen size. If you’re still on Drupal 7, you can use the Responsive Bartik and Responsive Tables modules to build responsive tables on your site.

Responsive Editor Interface

All Drupal 8 authoring features are designed with mobile in mind. The new admin toolbar is responsive, automatically expanding and orienting itself on wider screens while collapsing and orienting vertically on smaller screens. If you’re still on Drupal 7, you’re in luck. The mobile friendly toolbar is available for Drupal 7 as the Mobile Friendly Navigation Toolbar module.

Improved Mobile Performance

The performance of your website can also affect the mobile user’s experience. Drupal 8 works to minimize the front-end footprint of your website to improve performance. This works by replacing jQuery with native JavaScript when possible, and not loading jQuery by default for anonymous visitors. Additionally, Drupal 8 uses lighter-weight alternatives to JavaScript-intensive features that are more mobile friendly.


Topics: Development

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