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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
And the eyes they were / a colour I can't remember / which says more / from verse to verse
— A.C. Newman, There are Maybe 10 or 12
May 11, 2010
Jakob Nielsen on the iPad

Jakob Nielsen reviews the iPad for usability and user interface. While the article is interesting, it plays a little fast and loose with details by criticizing specific applications user interfaces and then lumping them under the category of the iPad UI, effectively damning the entire platform for choices developers made.

iPad Usability: First Findings From User Testing

Inconsistent Interaction Design

To exacerbate the problem, once they do figure out how something works, users can’t transfer their skills from one app to the next. Each application has a completely different UI for similar features.

In different apps, touching a picture could produce any of the following 5 results:

  • Nothing happens
  • Enlarging the picture
  • Hyperlinking to a more detailed page about that item
  • Flipping the image to reveal additional pictures in the same place (metaphorically, these new pictures are “on the back side” of the original picture)
  • Popping up a set of navigation choices

The latter design was used by USA Today: Touching the newspaper’s logo brought up a navigation menu listing the various sections. This was probably the most unexpected interaction we tested, and not one user discovered it.

An interesting read regardless. I suspect it will take three generations of operating system evolution for the image of the iPad as just a large iPhone to be shaken, and some of the real usability issues to be addressed.

Posted by skooter at 5:40 PM This entry is filed under Technology.
This entry is tagged: Apple, Information Architecture, Information Design, iPad, iPhone, Jakob Nielsen, Usability

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