The iPad is not a computer nor is it a mobile device - it brings together the rich design capabilities of print and TV and combines them in a digital realm. The tablet market is booming and with it brings it's own design requirements. Here we have compiled a few of the best practise ideas that we've learnt over the past few years while powering over 500 titles to the iPad.
Orientation - landscape, portrait or both
Doing both landscape and portrait orientation will result in a compelling iPad magazine but will increase the production time by 25-30%. Ask Oomph which orientation is best for your type of publication or app as our Oomph analytics shows which orientations are most popular for all Oomph magazines and books e.g. Food titles are used 60% in landscape and 40% in portrait.
Your text size should be an effective 16 points when viewed on an iPad, any smaller and the text is too hard to read. Adding zoom also adds complexity to the user interface, as moving left and right can be either navigation to prev/next section OR pan left/right if you are zoomed - users can become confused or stuck and have a poor experience with the app.
Therefore your InDesign iPad templates should use 14-16 point text.
Reformatting a print page for iPad
It is generally accepted that there is a 1:2 or even a 1:4 ratio when re-laying (i.e reformatting) a printed page to iPad. That is, 1 print page will become 2 or 4 iPad pages. An exception to this is photos which normally work fine on a one-to-one ratio.
The following are some tricks you can use with the Oomph platform to make this easier and to make the experience more iPad-like:
In Page Slideshows / Card flips
Read more about in page slideshows and card flips later in this document. Both of these tools provide a way to tap or slide an area of the screen which reveals more content in the same place. See the sample content for examples of this.
Page swaps are a technique for treating a multipage page PDF as a single page in the iPad app. Each page will reveal or highlight a certain part of the first page in greater detail. Page swaps are easy to author and very easy for the user. See the sample content for examples of this.
Double Page Spreads
NOTE print ads do not translate 100% to iPad. Your advertisers should be encouraged to create for the medium, that is, tablets. Also, TV commercials work very well as an alternate to print ads. DPS spreads normally look fine in landscape orientation. In portrait orientation DPS can be represented several ways:
|DPS in portrait||Pros||Cons|
|Resize to fit, black bars above and below.||Simple||DPS is almost certainly unreadable|
|Resize to fit, black bars above and below, tap to expand to full screen slideshow showing left and right side of DPS. See Qantas Advert in Oomph demo mag.||Slightly more complex than above (but every easy to duplicate when done once)||Takes more time than above as DPS need to be sliced in two.|
A next page or end of story/article indicator should be shown at the bottom and optionally top of each page. Making these arrow shaped adds to intuitiveness or blocking elements to help user understand the article has been read. FourFourTwo magazine is a good example using this practice.
The bottom quarter of the app can be tapped once to bring up the toolbar. It is recommended, but not required, to keep highly interactive functionality out of this area.
For performance related tips see the performance page.
We recommend different methods of previewing content for Mac and PC users. Read more on previewing Oomph content.
While you can make use of Oomph Viewer to produce your content, we recommend instead that you use your branded app for testing. It's better to test your content with the version of your app that is live in the store, as this is what customers will be using. If you don't yet have an app live in the store (i.e. while waiting for it to be reviewed), we provide ad hoc 'tester' apps for use in testing.
The issue with testing with a different version is there may be changes to the way content is rendered between versions, or even different feature sets, e.g. shared assets are available in Oomph 15, but not in earlier versions.
While we strive for 100% backwards compatibility - 12 content will run in a 15 app - we can't ensure retroactive forwards compatibility - 15 content in a 12 app.