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Thread: Guidelines for iPad Sketch Design

  1. #1

    Guidelines for iPad Sketch Design

    The ipad tag (or iPad Compatible checkbox) can be used in Sketch Exchange to tag documents that are especially suited for use with the Sketchpad Explorer iPad app. These sketches can be created in desktop versions of Sketchpad using any of the program's tools and uploaded to Sketch Exchange, where they can be accessed by an iPad. In general, Sketchpad Explorer supports any and all document content you can create in desktop Sketchpad. However, because Sketchpad Explorer presents a different user experience than desktop Sketchpad, effective sketch-design for the iPad benefits from some specific practices. When designing a Sketchpad document for the iPad, consider these recommendations before applying the ipad tag:

    1. Unlike desktop Sketchpad, the Sketchpad Explorer app does not have menus, a Toolbox, or a full Calculator. Therefore, sketches for the iPad should be designed to be explored meaningfully through dragging objects, pressing action buttons, changing parameter values, and flipping page tabs. If your Sketchpad activity instructs users to choose menu commands or Toolbox constructions that are not supported on iPad, make sure such instructions are optional. Change directions like "construct a parallel line" to "if you're using desktop Sketchpad, construct a parallel line," and replace instructions to "animate these points" with Action Buttons that perform the animation you want. If your sketch absolutely requires user constructions, it's probably not a good candidate for the ipad tag.

    2. Consider using larger text styles, point sizes, and line widths than you would for a desktop document. On the iPad, one's fingers can't "point" at objects as precisely as a desktop mouse, and so iPad users benefit from larger, simpler sketch layouts than desktop users. (Also, avoid the "zillions of buttons" approach to sketch design!)

    3. Make sure your document is appropriately sized for the iPad screen, in either landscape or portrait orientation, or both. Landscape dimensions are 1024 x 748 (without page tabs) or 1024 x 718 (with page tabs); portrait dimensions are 768 x 1004 (without page tabs) or 768 x 974 (with page tabs). We recommend sizing your content even somewhat smaller than these maximum dimensions so that it works well in either orientation. (You can also use the templates provided below by Daniel Scher.)

    4. Make sure any document you tag ipad in Sketch Exchange is a single .GSP file, rather than a .DOC, .PDF, .ZIP, or some other file format. Users who visit Sketch Exchange from an iPad can only conveniently open .GSP files.

    5. You can review your draft document on an iPad before uploading it to Sketch Exchange by e-mailing it to your iPad. Then check your e-mail on the iPad and tap the icon representing the attached Sketchpad document to open it in Sketchpad Explorer.

    6. If you are ipad-tagging any sketches from Sketchpad Version 4, please resave them first in Sketchpad Version 5 if they contain imported pictures. While desktop Sketchpad Version 5 understands picture formats used in Version 4, Sketchpad Explorer only understands the enhanced and compressed picture format introduced in Version 5.

    7. If you're aiming for a professional level of polish to your document, consider that on the iPad users typically drag objects with their index fingers. This means that their own hands often block their view of the area of the sketch just beneath a dragged point. Lay out your sketch so that vital information (e.g. measurements) that you'd like users to see during a drag remains visible above the dragged object, rather than below it.

    8. Where desktop Sketchpad users can only drag one object or set of objects at a time, Sketchpad Explorer permits users to drag as many objects as they have fingers, since the iPad is a multitouch environment. Consider the possibilities this opens up for exploring the mathematics of co-variation, and dependent and interdependent motions.

    9. Finally, note that the audience for Sketchpad Explorer extends beyond schools, and users of your documents may not have a teacher or other mathematical authority at hand. If your document begins with a clear statement of its aim, level of mathematics, intended use, and then some general instructions, all users will be able to determine quickly whether it's relevant to them. Putting this information in your sketch, and in Sketch Exchange as well, is a service to every user, not just iPad owners.
    Last edited by Josephine Noah; 07-26-2011 at 09:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Daniel posted a sketch that gives great tips for designing sketches for use with Sketchpad Explorer:

  3. #3
    How do you ensure that the GSP5 screen size is 1024 x 748 pixels? I can create a bounding box within GSP, but I assume the actual window has to be the proper iPad dimensions.

  4. #4
    Sketchpad Developer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Templates with proper dimensions for iPad

    I'm attaching two sketches that are exactly sized to 1024x718 and 1024x748. Either use these blank sketch templates when building a new Sketchpad model from scratch, or choose File | Document Options to import the pages from your existing sketch into these properly sized templates.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Daniel Scher; 01-22-2012 at 02:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Excellent. Thanks, Daniel!

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