What the New iPhone 6 Means for Web Design

Unless you are living under a rock that is buried under a slightly larger rock, you have heard that Apple has released the iPhone 6. New, major smart phone releases make people like me, someone who makes his living in the web development and design space, both excited and nervous.

Why do I get so excited? Because I love new toys. (Who doesn’t?) But I also get nervous, because I never know what a major smart phone release is going to do to my profession. Working in such a fast-paced industry means I have to become an expert on something new every six months or so.

Thankfully, being around this pattern of new-becoming-old every half-year or so has made me pretty good at predicting what impact a new hardware release is going to have on me and, most importantly, my clients. With that in mind, here is what I believe the new iPhone 6 means for web design and development:

The Screen is Bigger!

Okay, big deal, right? But a bigger screen means more content can be seen at once. My biggest issue with the iPhone 5 is the length versus width. This is great for reading long articles of text, but presentation might as well be thrown out of the window. The 5 made floating, in-content images difficult to deal with.

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The new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch brings back a possibility of having some sort of content structure in a web page other than just a long scrolling column of text or icons. Although the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 may be made for people with hands that have been surgically replaced with those of a gorilla, the extra space and higher resolution is going to be useful visual real estate and certainly provides a designer more room to play around with.

Mobile Design Will Still Need to Be Clean and to the Point

There's a reason Apple uses so much empty space on their products and presentation of software. That extra space helps frame the content and draw the eyes to what's important. Any designer worth their salt knows this. Also, a user surfing the web on their phone is usually incredibly impatient and wants their content immediately, and maintaining a clean design helps with mobile load times. If you clutter things up, or worse, your site isn't mobile ready/responsive, you will very quickly lose your audience (also known as “customers”).

Despite having a lot more space to work with, as it was with the previous, non-gorilla-hands iPhone, design and usability will need to be clean and to the point.

Responsive Websites Will Still Look Cool

Responsive web design (RWD), where sites are crafted to provide the user with a consistent viewing experience regardless of what device they are on, is the way of the web and will continue to be as our web technology only gets more robust. As long as a given site was properly built at the beginning, it will look good on the iPhone 6. In fact, effective liquid layouts for sites should be able to adapt to any screen size, regardless of manufacturer. So, design/developer types like me can breathe easy, for now, as the iPhone 6 really adds some more wiggle room to what we can do while also not really breaking anything we've built (properly) in the past.

Mobile web browsing now exceeds desktop browsing. Creating responsive websites and ensuring that those sites are ready for users, whether they are on an iPhone 6 or Galaxy or other mobile device, is what we do at Signet Interactive. For solutions to your business’s mobile marketability, contact us today.

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