iPad & Web Design

Apple’s iPad was finally launched to the market 4 days ago. According to CNET News, 300,000 units sold on Day 1, and many more to be sold in the coming days. Different players are awaiting to see how the iPad will impact their job and/or business. Newspapers are anxious to see if iPad will be the game changer in a declining media publishing industry. Developers are still not certain in the real “size of the prize” behind new apps for iPad, and Web Designers will need to get ready to get the best out of the new device for their clients.

On the latter, now that iPad is out in the market, the online conversation has been intense over the last days.

Although, no one can predict how Wed Design will evolve with the iPad, we are positive that there are many challenges ahead for Wed Designer so they can optimize the interaction between the user and the brands with this new technology.

This is a summary of the key highlights of the conversation surrounding iPad and Web Design.

Landscape vs. Portrait Web Design

Most of the discussion conclude that the answer to this is Fluid Width Design. One of the iPad’s differentiators vs. netbooks and laptops is its versatility to use it as a vertical or horizontal screen. Therefore, there is not right or wrong way of viewing websites in the iPad. This is great for the user but not so great for the designers because this will imply designing to two completely different layouts for which to design. This is why, most designers are emphasizing the need for smart fluid width design. In order to ensure the best experience of your website in an iPad, they are recommending a smart combination of CSS and Javascript.


Flash & HTML5

There has been a lot of discussion regarding Apple’s decision to not use Flash, however, the matter of the fact is that the decision is already taken and designers will need to learn how to create great user experience without Flash.

At the same time, Google has openly declared they will adopt HTML5 for YouTube and this is just the first step of many things to come with HTML5.

Designer who get on board with this trend will be ahead of the herd, offering extra value to their clients.

Further Reading:

The Computer & The Phone

The iPad brings to designers the opportunity to maximize synergies between two most successful systems of online computing, the computer and the phone. The iPad brings the processing power and bandwidth speed of traditional computing platforms. At the same time, web design will likely tend to be minimalist, aiming ease of navigation and simplicity.

Finger replaces the mouse

The interaction between the user and your website today follows this chain: finger – mouse – pointer -screen/links. iPad primary method of interaction is finger – screen/links. This will also bring changes to web design on the iPad. For perspective, in the past, the use of a pointer allowed designers to leverage on the “hover effect” to ease user navigation on a site. All these pointer-based tools are gone in the iPad, as it is not natural to scan through a website with your finger as you did with the pointer.

However, the iPad has a lot of other cool features web designers can play with, such as moving objects with your fingers around the site, resizing pictures for user convenience, etc.

How will your website looks today in iPad?

Best way is obviously to go a on a field trip to the closest Apple Store. If you rather stay away from the crowds, you can have a close attempt with iPad Peek. This tool has been create to give an idea of how any website will be rendered on the iPad. you can even switch from landscape to portrait mode by clicking on the top border. To note, iPad Peek has not blocked Flash, which won;t actually work on iPad, so if you want to get a closer “peek” to the iPad experience, make sure you disable the Flash plugin in your browser and change the user agent string to that of the Apple iPad.


4 thoughts on “iPad & Web Design”

    1. Awesome! I got mine as soon as it came out and it has definitely exceeded my expectations, my 3 favorite apps so far are ABC.com, Flipboard and CoolHunter. Thx for reading.

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