Two Web Design Approaches

When you create multiple versions of your website design to be displayed on hand-held devices like the iPhone and the iPad, at some point you have to step back and think about what the site should look like on each device and how to create a design that works well for all visitors.

This list describes two common approaches to site design:

  • Design for the high end and strip down: First you create a great-looking design that takes advantage of top-of-the-line features and the large screen size of the iPad. Then you strip the design to a version that works on the smaller screen of an iPhone while maintaining as much of the same look and feel as possible. It seems that people with a design background tend to favor this approach.

  • Design for the low end and build up: You determine the minimum amount of text, links, and images you want on your site and then add more design features, multimedia, and interactive content for devices that support it. It seems that programmers and people who specialize in creating wireframes and developing site architecture prefer this approach.

The design situation changes fast and not everyone has the time to create special designs for both landscape and portrait views in the iPhone and iPad.

If you’re feeling limited by the design choices you have available on the iPhone and iPad, don’t give up too soon. Both devices continue to evolve, and you can logically expect faster connection speeds, higher-resolution screens, and more interactive functionality. Yep, you might even be able to use Flash on the iPad/iPhone someday.

A special website has been created where you can find the latest design tips and techniques — as well as updates for the latest tricks, errata, insights and advances related to these devices.

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