Cyber-Duck recently released our own iPad WebApp: DuckPad, a brochure of our website which is highly tailored for the new platform. Here's an insight into the inspiration behind the project, and the design and development process.
The iPad and other tablets coming onto the market have presented the world with a brand new way of browsing the Internet, with 2% of UK users having access to an iPad. This presents an opportunity to give enhanced user experience, tailored to the new type of touch interactions available. At Cyber-Duck we want users to have an excellent experience, whichever device they happen to be using.
DuckPad is an interactive Cyber-Duck brochure for the iPad which started its life as an R&D project for the Cyber-Duck development team. It utilises the latest cutting edge web technologies, including HTML5, CSS3, jQuery and SVG, to explore the possibilities offered by developing for this new type of device.
As accredited Apple Developers, we had the option to build and make a native app which would be available for download in the App Store, by using the Objective C language. Frameworks like Phonegap even allow for apps built in web technologies (like HTML5) to be essentially ‘packaged’ into native apps. Due to the time constraints of our R&D challenge, we wanted to build DuckPad as a pure ‘WebApp’, so it would be accessible simply by visiting a URL in the browser. The inbuilt iPad functionality, combined with a HTML5 & CSS3 build, meant DuckPad could emulate the trappings of a native app while running in Safari.
We were all really impressed by the iPad version of nike.com, and inspired by the app flipboard.com. So, we decided that we wanted to integrate some similar ‘wow’ factors into our WebApp. As users can choose how to hold their iPad, it also had to be viewable in horizontal or vertical format, meaning that elements had to shift automatically as the dimensions changed. The result was something which we feel is both visually appealing and engaging.
After completion of the WebApp, we went on to present a talk on "Developing a WebApp for the iPad" at C21Media’s iPad Entertainment Summit at BAFTA in London. We were lucky enough to be speaking alongside major industry names like the BBC, Channel 4, Sky, NBC and the fantastic Stephen Fry.