Unless you on a deserted island somewhere, you heard yesterday about Apple’s newest technological advancement: the iPad. Now, there has been all sorts of buzz all over the internet about whether the device is extraordinary or significantly less impressive than expected. However, my question relates to how this new technology will effect the way we, as web and graphic designers, do our job. Below I would like to offer a few thoughts on how our jobs might change, and then leave the discussion up to you. Please add to the list and let us know what you think.
The truth of the matter is, the basic principles of design are never likely to change. Alignment, Proximity, effective color schemes, repetition, and more will rule the design world regardless of the technologies that we, as designers, have to adapt to. The real question is, what methodologies and techniques might we have to adopt when new technologies emerge. The internet, for example, is completely revolutionizing the graphic design industry. Designer have had to adapt, learn new skills, and continue to work across all popular media. Let’s examine a few changes that might need to be made for devices like the iPad and its successors.
Usability – namely links and buttons
It’s important to understand that new devices like the iPhone and the iPad are not navigated using a mouse. They’re controlled with human fingers, many which are much fatter than your typical mouse pointer. This might bring into play, as a result, the need for more “finger-friendly” links. As touch-sensitive devices become more and more popular, we will begin to see less of the traditional hyperlinks and more big, touchable buttons.
Horizontal vs. Vertical styling
This is more a question on my part. Do you think that, due to the ability to easily switch between horizontal and vertical orientation, as web designers, we will need to create a vertical stylesheet and a horizontal one? I ask, because I recently watched a video about how Sports Illustrated will begin to implement their magazine on the iPad and the styling completely changed when the orientation did.
I honestly have no idea what is going to happen because of the new iPad. Perhaps design as we know it will change forever. Perhaps nothing will change. What are your thoughts on the matter? Share them with us.