Optimizing the Tablet Device Experience

Dutch HollisTo continue the discussion on table strategy from Wednesday, the last item to consider is what the experience is like on a tablet device. As I mentioned earlier, many standard websites do quite well on tablets, but you still need to test and understand that there are some things that can make your experience turn negative quite quickly. Consider the following items as you mull over a tablet-optimized version of your site versus some extra spit-and-polish on the wired web version. You can often make significant progress without going back to a blank slate.
  • Flash: First is the use of flash. If your site relies on it, the largest part of the tablet audience can’t see it and can’t interact with it. If this is the case, you need to move quickly to get a tablet version in market to engage those users.
  • Interface: Second is the interface itself. Yes, tablets are easy to use, but like smart phones, they are used differently than desktop computers or laptops. If you have complex navigation that relies on tricks like drop down menus (especially using mouseovers), consider revising these first. Also, if you’re sticking with a single wired-web/tablet experience, think “tap” not click. Links and buttons need to be chunky enough and spaced far enough apart that they can be engaged with the blunt smudge of a real pointer finger – not the precision of a graphical mouse pointer.
  • Forms: These can be a real pain on a virtual keyboard, no matter how proficient the user. Simplify your forms wherever possible and be sure to add the new form tags from HTML5 that are designed to pull up the “best” virtual keyboard or chooser interface for the task at hand. This is mostly limited to iOS, but let’s face it, the iPad has a huge lead in the tablet race right now.

As always, let your site metrics be your guide. Look at what device types are used to access your site, and more importantly, whether certain tablet device types are bailing out before the conversion in large quantities. Once you’ve quantified the tablet audience specific to your site and product, some simple testing and quick optimizations may be enough to turn your site’s tablet experience into new sales and happy customers.

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  1. […] commerce.’” (Need some help optimizing your tablet experience? Check out this helpful post from Dutch.) What’s your take on any of the above news topics? We invite your comments. Share this:Like […]

  2. […] Tips for Creating a Tablet Strategy About a year ago I wrote a couple of posts on tablet strategy. Those thoughts in many ways are still valid, though I’m always willing to […]

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