As consumers continue to purchase iPad tablets, they are looking for applications they can use to enhance their experience. A study by Forrester Research found that more than 50 percent of tablet owners use their device for checking email, looking up information, playing games, watching videos, viewing pictures, listening to music and social networking. iPad apps are used to supplement a company's existing content, or as a stand-alone app to promote a brand.
Best Practices for Designing an iPad App
To design an effective iPad app it's important to follow a few guidelines that differentiate apps from regular company websites:
- Keep your app simple and focused on one main task to accomplish. Identify who your audience is, and what needs you are fulfilling with your app.
- iPads are a highly visual medium, so take advantage of the larger screen size. Create all your designs at 768 x 1024 pixels, the native resolution of the iPad.
- Your computer and iPad view ports are slightly different. The Apple Safari web browser for the iPad does not have windows, scrollbars or resize buttons. Instead, users browse with their fingers, so keep this in mind in the design phase.
- Make it clear what areas of the screen are tappable by clearly labeling them and making those areas big.
- The size and nature of an iPad triggers associations with clipboards, hard cover books or printed documents. This is an opportunity to create a personal experience for users, and possibly evoke the feeling of a "virtual object" like a file folder or address book.
- You may want to design your iPad app to complement your company's existing content, such as offering supplemental material or an interactive area for a book or a show.
- Traditional monetization methods may not be the best technique to use on iPad apps. For example, one-time paid downloads only reach a small audience. People do not want to pay for apps unless they are using them every day. Companies are finding innovative ways to come up with alternative funding opportunities.
- E-commerce is a great example of how to generate revenue. Some current iPad apps provide beautiful imagery with options to add any displayed items to a shopping cart or wish list for easy purchase.
- Give users a reason to continue spending time on your app. One method is by unlocking new areas and functionalities as they reach higher levels or benchmarks.
- Videos are a great way to share information on the app. Decide whether you want to stream or embed your video. Streaming saves download time and bandwidth, but requires continued Internet connection. Embedded videos require download, but can be played anytime, with or without Internet connection.
For more information on iPad apps, see iPad App Development. If you are interested in a custom iPad app with proper strategy and content creation, or want to learn more about developing a strategy for your team, contact Blue Interactive at 954.779.2801.