Hands using a ruler to make a mark on a board

4 Ways to Make Your Website Thin Enough for the iPad Air 2

On Thursday, October 16th, Apple introduced the latest version of the iPad, and it’s the thinnest tablet on the market. In true Apple form, however, the new changes are sending developers and designers into a frenzy to make sure their sites and apps are compatible. Are your sites thin enough to work on the iPad Air 2? Here are 4 tips for designing thin websites for new ultra-thin tablets.

1. iPad Air 2 only supports z-indexes under 100

If you’ve ever let a “z-index: 999” slip through in a moment of desperation, it has finally come back to haunt you. In an effort to slim the iPad to its maximum, the tablet now only supports z-indexes under a value of 100. It might be time to go back through your sites and clean house. Or you can use the spanx.js jQuery plugin that will squeeze all of your z-indexes down to fit into a size 100.

2. Trade out that hamburger icon for the low-carb version

The ubiquitous hamburger icon is already controversial, but everyone already knows that hamburgers make you fat. Slim down your sites with the new low-carb hamburger icon:

Graphic showing traditional hamburger icon with three lines on left and new low-carb icon with only one line representing only the 'meat' on the right.
Fig. 1

3. Avoid hefty 3D CSS manipulation

CSS3 introduced 3-dimensional transformations a few years ago, and they were just coming into wide-spread support. But now, your CSS transformations might bump into the screen if they extend too far out toward the viewer. Be especially careful if you are animating them, because especially fast animations may crack the ultra-thin screen.

4. Avoid heavy font weights

This one will hit many designers where it hurts. It appears that Apple’s use of Helvetica Neue UltraLight introduced in iOS7 was a tactical move to prepare for ultra-light and ultra-thin devices. We recommend not using any font weight above 600 to ensure your site not only fits in the iPad Air 2 but also doesn’t add additional weight to the .96 pound device.