Virginia from the National Library has written about her experience using websites with her iPhone, and the kinds of things a web designer should think about.
Many of them are elements of standard good design, such as separating adjacent links:
- Good margins around each ‘patch’ of information and the overall page: I can get my thumbs and fingers in there without accidentally clicking off somewhere unexpected.
- Links have good amounts of white space around them so my clunky fingers don’t hit two at once.
Others, still good design, are specially important for the way users navigate around a page while using an iPod touch or iPhone:
- Alignment of page elements: I can easily move vertically and horizontally along the edges of patches or modules — hard to do when information is structured like a brick wall or, worse, is all over the place with centred headings and what not.
- Clear-cut elements. Behind the scenes, when I double tap, Safari on iPhone looks for the closest block to the element I have tapped (such as the DIV), zooms it to fit my magnifying glass and centres it.
[Via LibraryTechNZ: Reach out and touch your web space: site design and the iPhone.]
There’s good information there for web designers — its well worth a read.
And just a small data point: the iPhone and iPod touch are extremely popular. More and more people are using them to view and interact with web pages.
Here in New Zealand the iPhone is not officially available for sale. At our recent Webstock one speaker called for a show of hands for those using an iPhone. I guess about 50 to 100 of the 500-strong audience raised their hands. Of course, those attending were primarily techie-type geeks, so that’s a very skewed sample.
But I’ve found I have trouble using my iPod touch in public. Yesterday I was checking my email while waiting for the bus (thanks, Cafenet). Some random guy sat down beside me and we fell into discussion about the iPod touch and the iPhone. He clearly had some actual knowledge about the iPhone and I had the idea he’d buy one when they’re available.
Meanwhile I almost missed the bus as he was asking me about typing on the iPod touch, and the bus sailed by without even slowing for the stop. Fortunately the traffic light a couple of metres from the stop was red, and a quick dash saved me the hour’s wait till the next bus.
The thing is, there’s a high level of awareness amongst the general public here about the iPhone, and it’s not even officially for sale here. Just wait till it is! Web designers: we need to pay attention to posts like Virginia’s.