The iPad is obviously not a Mac, but less obvious is the fact that it's not simply a scaled-up iPhone. Usability guru Jakob Nielsen has now released initial results from the Nielsen Norman Group's first iPad usability tests. Criticisms raised by the tests include inconsistent app interfaces, low discoverability of interface elements, and an over-reliance on a print metaphor. We're not surprised; the iPad's combination of a multitouch interface and large screen size make it significantly different from any previous device, and iPad developers didn't even have access to physical units for their initial designs. (Although it's too soon for a complete list of design guidelines, iPad developers would also do well to read the full 93-page PDF report, in addition to this executive summary.) follow link
Disable Caps Lock
If you find yourself pressing the Caps Lock key accidentally as much as I do, note that you can disable it entirely in Mac OS X. Open the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane, click the Modifier Keys button, and in the dialog that appears, select No Action from the Caps Lock pop-up menu. You could remap it to another modifier instead, but that might make using differently configured Macs more difficult.
- ExtraBITS for 10 May 2010 (10 May 10)
Jakob Nielsen Releases First iPad Usability Test Results
I certainly could have added "Third-Party Apps" to the title and body in multiple places, but this was just a link to Jakob's report, not significant coverage of our own.
More to the point, it's absolutely essential to the iPad and other iPhone OS devices that they can run third-party apps. The iPad makes absolutely no distinction between Apple's apps and those from other developers, and 99.9% of all apps don't come from Apple (besides the fact that you can't delete Apple's apps). So to a great extent, the third-party app experience IS the overall iPad experience.