Designing for Retina Displays: 6 Steps to Become Amazing

2013 study found that 64 percent of adult cell phone users surf the web with their phones and that 34 percent of cell Internet users use their mobile phones as their primary Internet surfing devices [1]. With this rise in mobile Internet users comes an increased demand for better online graphics, and with the Retina display by Apple, web and app developers are now having to comply with these high-resolution demands and design their products to work properly with these increasingly popular screens.


The Retina screen, which is now compatible with newer iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Macbook models, comes with such a high pixel density that users can’t pick out each pixel from a normal viewing distance[2]. The pixel density required for a Retina display is 163 pixels per inch or more, but today’s devices with Retina display are featuring pixel densities higher than 300 pixels per inch, four times the size of the device’s earlier models[2]. You can even get your own Retina display device like T-Mobile Samsung cell phones. As a designer, this allows you to test your images on the proper device.


These devices now total in the millions. In fact, Apple recently broke a record by selling 9 million iPhones with Retina display in three days [3]. Considering that the Retina display has been around since 2010, one can only imagine how many people are using the high-resolution screens every day.

For designers, this means that if websites and apps aren’t properly configured, more people may encounter poorly formatted or blurry pages. With the increase in Retina devices and the amount of time people are now spending on their mobile devices, it makes sense that designers everywhere want to accommodate these higher resolution needs to keep users coming back to these stunning images. To help you get started, check out the following tips for designing your website or app for the Retina display.


Teddy Hunt is a freelance content writer and designer with a focus on technology. When not behind a computer, Teddy spends the majority of his free time outdoors and resides in Tampa, Florida.