I have read far too many posts in recent months on how to incorporate responsive web design into a design workflow. Most cover what I already know, but leave it to designer Jacey Gulden to shake things up:
By nature, a mobile device is narrow, and it forces the content to be presented in a single column. The linear display caused by this narrowness forces the designer to give priority and hierarchy to certain pieces of content that is much less apparent when a site is viewed on a wider screen.
Because of this, many designers have started experimenting with a new kind of mockup that involves content hierarchy rather than design layout. Designers give numerical values to elements of content that correlate to where those items might appear in a stacked column layout. This way, design is less constrained, but the content is always presented in the best way possible.
I’ve heard the “content hierarchy first” advice before but rarely in such a clear manner.