5 basic tips for designing iPad apps

Ideaseed’s iPad app design team transforms content like presentations, catalogues and annual reports into riveting, interactive material that makes you want to munch popcorn as you view it on your tablet’s screen. They’ve got five rules of thumb that translate into better content for iPads.

Hello, anybody out there…
Who exactly is going to be reading this content? And what is it they’re hoping to glean from it? Defining your audience and its information needs is the first step to designing a great iPad app.

What’s the story?
Get out a big, black marker and some A3 paper and map out the content’s storyline – yes, like a comic strip. How do you intend to walk your audience through your company’s brochure, or year-end report? This simple exercise will also help you nail down the interactive elements needed in your iPad app.

Less is more
Don’t overwhelm your user with all manner of toggles and controls – they don’t need to feel like they’re piloting the Starship Enterprise as they work through your content! Keep the layout and navigation simple.

Vertical or horizontal
With the iPad’s nifty ability to showcase everything in one of two orientations, ask yourself: which way is the end-user most likely to prefer looking at this content? You need to think about how your content will display both vertically and horizontally. However, don’t make your portrait and landscape display options too drastically different from each other – the user craves a consistent, familiar experience.

Think with your fingertips
Imagine touching the iPad’s screen as you navigate through the content. What would be the most natural physical gesture? For instance, page flips are bettering than scrolling endless through content. This is a great example of a duplicating a ‘real life’ action on an iPad. You don’t scroll down through the magazines next to the loo, do you?