Apple has again started created waves in the tech sphere with the recent launch of its iPad 2. Devices like iPad which are neither computers nor mobile phones and have a size and shape, screen resolution and screen width between a laptop and a smartphone, are known as “tablets”.
While the iPad or the iPad 2 doesn’t needs an introduction, a thing which makes many website owners curious is – how my web design should accommodate users who are using a tablet like the iPad 2? Wouldn’t the experience be slightly dithered when my website is accessed on a monitor with a lower screen resolution? This reasoning is very true as is the fact that just like the mobile technology; the tablets are transforming web design too. Let us look how website design is involving to work seamlessly on tablets.
The region visible to website users without scrolling is known as above the fold area on a website. Due to usage of different screens, web designers need to scale back the fold which was once increased due to large screen monitors getting popular. This was the scene a couple of years back. Important information, navigation and content now need to be shrunk in a smaller area because the screen width and depth are decreasing.
Most tablets let users browse content vertically as well as horizontally. To appear properly in both these orientations, it is important that a technique called adaptive CSS is used which dynamically changes the margins based on the orientation of viewing.
HTML 5 is the preferred replacement option for flash. Apple no longer develops devices that support Flash and proposes HTML 5 as the solution for video and other media embedding. Many websites like CNET have already started moving towards HTML 5 and flash is becoming obsolete with every passing day.
Just like a mobile phone, going minimalistic is the way with your navigation. Users can make repetitive mistakes while trying to access a particular section because of the proximity of the navigation links. Buttons which are well spaced are in use to avoid touch errors.
General tips and best practices that work well for mobile website design work with tablets too. Clear and legible text with correct font size, simplified navigation schemes and proper button sizes all help while users are at work using a tablet. If you intend to offer a far richer experience to users with native OS applications, here is a link to a list of App design guidelines for tablets.
Tablets are a medium for users to get in touch with you and like every medium, there are technological nuances that dictate what should and should not be done. If proper emphasis is given to all the web design aspects, chances are high that your web design firm will give a satisfying user experience.