Design to compliment not replace

On the iPad and other tablets…

This new form of consuming media IS NOT going to slow down, and in fact, it’s going to keep rising at a relatively quick pace. Within the next 2 years, 1/3rd of all website traffic will be consumed by tablets. The introduction of the “touch interface” is tech worlds greatest advancement since the keyboard and mouse, and at the same time provides new challenges to website designers and developers. The question then becomes, “Do we design FOR tablets, or do we design to COMPLIMENT tablets?”

I believe in the latter and here’s my thinking on that; why make your desktop visitors website experience suck because you want your site to work on the iPad? In other words, it doesn’t make any sense to modify your existing website, when you could create something to compliment it instead. Something that’s hidden, and out of the way until you need it. This way you keep your website, visitors, user experience on desktops and laptops the same, while at the same time providing a highly optimized and unique user experience tailored to fit the associating device.

Flash isn’t going away. Flash has a home for visitors using desktops and laptops because it provides a fluid experience. However tablets are a different form of media consumption devices, and they require a different form of interacting with it. Websites require a mouse to interact with them. Websites for tablets require your finger. With that, we can safely make the assumption that current websites aren’t meant to work for the iPad. Tablets have opened new roads for developers because now we can create unique experiences based on touch. Give technology a couple more years and we’ll be providing experiences that captivate most of the 5 senses. Now we begin to understand why tablets have grown in popularity. It’s new, it’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

So don’t rip down and re-build your site for the iPad. Design to compliment, not replace.