Designing for iPhone & iPod Touch… Seriously.


Of all the web browsers in all the world… iPhone had to walk into my life.  It’s hard enough keeping up with the various quirks of the big hitters in the League of Unextraordinary Web Browsers… then along comes a cocky rookie called iPhone with it’s “best browsing experience” attitude.

No big deal most designers would think, “Jobs says it uses Safari so everything should be good to go”. MUHAHAHAHA you silly designer, nothing is ever what the hype sells. Now I sound facetious and maybe I am a bit, but the reason for this post is a simple one.

I showed a friend a design mockup for a church web site I’m working on. His first question was “How does it look on an iPhone? It does have like 90% of mobile web traffic.” Wow, kinda felt like a kick in the nuggets. But it was a valid question.

Since I do not own an iPhone (I have my reasons) I had to test it on the next best thing, my iPod Touch. So I pulled up the site. Amazingly it looked really good! But there were some quirks, mainly with nested backgrounds, but all in all it looked pretty intact. Then it hit me… to even read anything on the site the viewer would have to zoom in and then that starts the whole scrolling issue yadda yadda yadda.

So I thought to my self, “Self, we need to seriously consider the iPhone when designing sites now.” Great, just what I needed to hear from myself. So we set out to compile some resources for designing a web site with iPhone considerations. So now we add yet another browser to the mix. Luckily it is really a matter of CSS and a few link enhancements for maps and phone numbers.

To that end I offer the following links for reference for my UI designer comrades-in-arms. I’ll try and post updates and additions as I find them. If you want to track updates you can find them on my Delicious or eat the RSS feed.

Statistics & Traffic

Design Resources

iPhone Simulators

  • iPhoney (sorry Mac OS X only)
  • If you are a designer on a budget (or on Windows) I highly recommend picking up an iPod Touch 8Gb model for design testing. You get a true test device plus a cool toy.

Why the Blog Template Change?

Although this is a new blog and I know no one is reading it, just in case I thought I would mention why I changed from my old black/dark template. Simple. The designer didn’t know what he was doing. It worked fine until I added images to the top of posts. Looked fine on the main page but when you went into the post directly the layout fell apart. Tsk tsk tsk.

So I went back to a rock solid old favorite and here we are. Enjoy.