TABLET USER INTERFACE DESIGN AND ENTERPRISES – HOT POTATO 2011, 2013…

maaliskuu 8, 2013 // Ville Pohjola

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I was walking through old articles at UX Magazines web pages and bumped to the interesting article concerning the tablet in enterprise use. The article referred to the study where 78 % of CIO’s are planning to take tablets in use in their companies before end of year 2013. Consumerization driven trend to take iPad’s to business use is also raised up in this article. Well, we know the story already.

Here is the link to the article

Interesting is that the study was made May 2011. Almost two years ago.

Those guys have now about 9 month time to match the reality with their statements. It seems that it is still hard to find decent business solutions for iPad. It seems to be also challenging to match consumer device to the enterprise environment.

But, what is actually the biggest problem is the weak understanding about tablet as a device type. It seems to be challenging to place the tablet to the correct place in tool portfolio. What we can do with the tablet, how we should benefit about it?

I think the most important barrier for tablet deployment is the misunderstanding related to the user experience. As stated also in the UX Mag article, the hardware is unique. Tablet is misleadingly compared to big smartphone and small laptop. The user interface of a iPad is unique.

The most important difference is the way the device is hold. A smartphone should still be atleast sometimes optimized for one-hand-usage (Although this has already disappearing design driver), laptop is still hold in table but tablet is something which is really awkward in both of these cases. It requires two hands but it is difficult to be used when sitting behind the office desk. Tablet is the first true lap device. Tablet does not have as efficient tools for data manipulation than a PC, that is a fact. Trials to bring same tools as accessories are all failed, because what you do with a mouse if the processor is not enough for more advanced calculations?

So, CIO’s should understand the best use case for a table. Although it is stated that there will be more tablets than laptops in the world soon, tablet does not yet replace PC totally. The tablet is a media device, so it is the best in viewing media. It is the best device for viewing crucial  KPI’s on the run. Tablet should be seen as a portable window for well summarised information. It has a decent size display for viewing more data than smartphone.  It does not have good tools to manipulate huge amount of data. So, normal web page or PC optimized Rich Internet Application is not good for tablet. The conclusion is that the application user interface should be optimized for tablet to get best out of it.

The best thing in iPad is it’s user interface. Good display, great touch gestures in big enough screen. Display and gestures. That’s why everyone wants one for work also. Remember that when making enterprise solutions for tablet.