Tablet Usability Study

nielsennormangroup.pngNielsen Norman Group have a new article on the results of six rounds of usability studies with tablet users across iPad, Android and Windows tablets.

The main problems were the same as for applications on other platforms…

"Difficult features, mismatch with user workflow and poor instructions that people don’t read"

Nielsen Norman Group observes that websites are much more usable than on smartphones. This together with the requirement  for apps to modify the user interface for different tablet models causes Nielsen Norman Group to advise developers to "stick to websites" and only create an app if it really adds value over a website. If you do make an app then don’t make it a scaled up phone app. The article also covers other issues such as Web UX bleedthrough and gesture problems.

I’d say the advice to only create an app if it really adds value over a website is equally applicable to smartphone apps. There are too many ‘shallow’ smartphone apps that might as well be websites. In the past it might have been worth creating the equivalent of a site in an app in order to gain visibility via the app stores but, with so many apps in the stores, that time is well over.