Create Web Designs for the iPad

The iPad, with its big beautiful screen, may lead you to believe you don’t need to do anything special, but the best design techniques for the iPad are not the same techniques that many have used to design for the desktop.

Although the iPad provides far more screen real estate than the iPhone, it still creates new challenges for web designers. Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing websites for the iPad:

  • Design for both orientations: The ability to turn the iPad from landscape to portrait mode dramatically alters the screen space for your web designs. This figure demonstrates how much design space is wasted when a site designed only for landscape mode is viewed in portrait mode.

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  • Make the most of HTML5 and CSS 3: When you’re designing for the iPad, you don’t have to worry about all the web browsers still used on desktop computers, so you can take full advantage of the latest in web design technologies.

  • Test iPad designs on an iPad: When you create content for the iPad, remember that you’re probably using a machine that’s quite different from the one your visitors will use when they view your work.

    Don’t test your work in the same place where you develop it. You may still have to do most of the design and coding of your iPad sites while sitting at a desktop or laptop computer, but when you’re done, stretch out, and go sit in a comfy chair to see how it feels to use your site and evaluate how it works when you’re viewing it on an iPad.

Test your web page designs in different lighting situations. Take the iPad outside to see how your pages look in bright sunlight, and bring the device to bed with you to see how it looks when you hide in the dark under the covers.

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