Tablet User Experience is not the same as mobile phone user experience – the devices are used in different situations and in different ways. This presentation provides a framework for thinking about common tablet task types and suggestions for how to build useful and usable tablet apps.
In the talk, I cover searching, tracking, transacting and creating as the key user tasks, and then talk about usage – the fact that tablets are still often a shared resource (especially shared with kids), how business users are often stuck co-opting consumer apps to do what they need, and how tablets aren’t quite as mobile as we’d like (seen people taking photos with them?).
My tips include designing for distractions, for existing/repeat users, using content as a form of navigation, and understanding your user base so that you can work out what it is they’re likely to mean by an action.
I gave this talk at the GOTO Amsterdam conference in May 2012 and it got a great reception. The conference uses a very interesting scoring system – after each talk, every attendee selects green, yellow or red on a touchscreen as they leave the room. That provides a near-instant rating system for the speakers. I got over 90% green, and no reds! Just as well, considering they’d given me star billing on the conference posters (I had no idea…)
Update 2019: This talk is old now. We’ve just about got to the point where it’s possible (but not that easy) to use a large format tablet and keyboard as a laptop replacement for some tasks, but generally (and for the general population) tablets still seem to suffer from many of the same issues.