Are Tablets Hurting Your Site’s Usability?
- a clickstream tool, such as Omniture, Google Analytics or Webtrends; and
- a survey tool that gets served to tablets, like ForeSee, OpinionLab or iPerceptions.
Your audience is unique — deal with it. Figures from Forrester and other research firms are going to be less useful to you because you can't tell what your actual opportunity size is. You should still look at the market penetration of smartphones, tablets and desktops/laptops, but not before you look at your figures in-house.
A clickstream tool can be used to determine not just the total volume of tablet users, but what pieces of content tablet users engage with the most. For Google Analytics, your filter will look something like this:
Once you have the filter ready, you need to check which pages and sections get used. The idea is to figure out which tasks get done via tablets, and optimize those first.
If you have a survey tool, you can figure out not just the tasks, but the success rates — i.e., the tasks that users do often but fail a lot need to be prioritized.
Large Enough to Read, Not Large Enough to Tap
Once you get over the data hump, you should be able to tailor experiences for the key tasks that users perform.
One of the main issues you have to deal with is font sizes for buttons. For tablets, things that are readable may not necessarily be large enough to tap with precision. This is a problem if you have a lot of calls to action and you can't provide enough space for the hot spots to be usable.
If you have the data, you can limit hot spots to just what people need. By keeping the number of items down to just what users need, you'll solve not just the cognitive load problems, but readability vs. tappability issues as well.
Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization. Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim's deep understanding and innovative perspective.
Connect with Tim on Google+