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New iPad’s Retina Display Causing Businesses to ‘Think Different’ About Design

New iPad’s Retina Display Causing Businesses to ‘Think Different’ About Design

If you’re one of the more than 3 million lucky owners of Apple’s new iPad, you may have noticed something while using that fantastic Retina display; some of the websites you visit don’t look quite as sharp as they used to.

Igor Faletski for CNET:

…what feels like beautifully simple technology for consumers can give Web site owners a new set of headaches. The precise rendering of images on the Retina display reveals rough edges across the Web. Text may be pin-sharp, but put that text alongside photos, and those images don’t look so hot. Logos appear blurred. Even shopping cart buttons become grainy.

Web designer Dave Shea explains it this way: “The iPad Retina display will make all your existing graphics look like pixelated clip art.”So, websites need to change their graphics for the new iPad, but would it be worth it?

True, as a recent Ney York Times Bits blog posting pointed out, the new iPad is “just a single device out of the many computers, smartphones, and tablets out there with less ‘resolutionary’ screens.” But, companies cannot ignore the power of the tablet in e-commerce. In increasing numbers, consumers are using iPads and other tablets to shop online.

Faletski says, “Chances are virtually all Web sites will need to eventually catch up to the iPad’s high definition display; however, it’s more critical for those brands that lean on imagery to sell their products, such as fashion and apparel retailers, restaurants, hospitality companies and more.”

He lists four ways websites can adapt to the high resolution screens on today’s iPad, and tomorrow’s competing tablets:

  1. Prioritize important images. Start optimizing whichever images on your site are eye candy for your audience.
  2. Turn text into text. On the Retina display, any text that is not text (i.e. overlay text, button text, text in headers, sidebars, search bars) looks terrible compared to the ultra crispness of actual text.
  3. Boost button sizes. “Buy Now,” “Learn More, “Sign up Here” buttons are critical to the efficacy of any website as they navigate visitors to the desired outcome.
  4. Increase logo size. Really — make the logo bigger!

Just as television has moved from standard definition displays to today’s high resolution displays, the web must too adapt to the new display of today’s iPad.

Faletski’s article should be required reading for web developers and marketers. He goes into more detail in the article, which is available at the link above.