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Jakob Nielsen Releases First iPad Usability Test Results

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.)favicon follow link


Comments about Jakob Nielsen Releases First iPad Usability Test Results
(Comments are closed.)

Thibault  2010-05-13 07:17
I am very disturbed at the misleading title and content. The usability testjg is NOT on the iPad itself but rather iPad apps. That's a big difference. You can claim the iPad usability to include the UI design of the iPad OS but NOT third party apps. The Nielsen report is on usability of third party APPS. I hope this distinction is clarified because it is one thing to say the iPad device and its native OS hasusability problems versus saying iPad apps in general have usability problems.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-05-13 12:24
Well, your comment has clarified it now! :-)

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.