Saturday, June 4, 2011

Usability of iPad apps and websites

Blog post 1 Usability of iPad apps and websites.

This is an interesting article on using gesture based iPad apps.  The findings of the Nielsen and Norman Group present issues that I have struggled with on certain iPad applications.

  • Swiping apps - I find that each application does this differently.  In one case you will have to swipe to turn the page but in another simply tapping the screen will turn the page.
  • As most of us are very comfortable navigating a web browser we are familiar with the back button.  This is something we look for when we navigate to a screen and find the information isn't what we desired.  I find that I either look for a back button or if I am using a keyboard will reach for the backspace key rather than swipe the screen.

I have a colleague that is in her late 50's and has an iPad2.  The other day we were discussing a web site she had pulled up on her iPad.  The site had lots of videos and  
pictures with links spread throughout the site.  As she attempted to navigate to the bottom of the page by scrolling with her fingers she kept accidentally clicking on the links.  Though she wanted to pull up the bottom of the page the gesture was confused with wanting to click on a link.  I could sense her frustration as she finally said out loud "why does it keep doing that"?  My thoughts are, there must be a better way.  Websites that are viewed on the iPad need to have bigger touch points for links and the spacing between the points needs to be farther apart.  

You can find the full report on Usability of iPad Apps and Websites from the Nielsen Norman Group at:

-Jan Elsasser

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