Translating an Interface from iPad to iPhone

Since iPhones, iPods, and iPads all run basically the same operating system and look like scaled versions of each other, it might seem like porting from one iDevice to another requires virtually no effort. However, three key factors make this untrue in practice:

  1. People use phones differently than they use iPads – the biggest difference is that phones are almost always used one-handed, with only a single finger used for interaction. Compared to iPads where users have at least one entire hand for interaction, iPhones need simplified interfaces.
  2. Screen proportions are different – although the difference is small, iPhones and iPods have wider format screens than iPads, which means that games need to make use of more horizontal space and less vertical space (if they are landscape format like Grow Your Garden).
  3. Finger size matters – a user’s finger is much smaller in comparison to the size of an iPad screen than it is in comparison to the size of an iPhone or iPod screen. This means that simply scaling interface components one to one won’t always work since they can get too small to easily touch.

The upshot of all this is that for the iPhone version of Grow Your Garden, we are modifying several aspects of the interface to make it more accessible. For example, the level select screen is now in a scrolling horizontal format with bigger windows to make sure users can easily tap each flower:

Level Select Screen for Grow Your Garden iPhone

Level Select Screen for Grow Your Garden iPhone

Next time, I will talk more about making Grow Your Garden accessible to users across iPhone versions.

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Category : Blog

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