CX Insights

7 Tips to Guarantee Easy Tablet UX

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3 min read

UX designing for tablet users is becoming more and more critical.

Not only has there been a significant increase the number of tablet users in recent years, but 79% of tablet users nowadays are using tablets at home – more than ever before.

That is why designing for tablet users means designing for customers who are not “on-the-go” like smartphone users, but ones who are most likely to use multiple devices simultaneously throughout their day.

According to Gartner, “One of the most confounding problems with portals of all types is the challenge of getting people to use them.” So in order to help you build a better UX for tablet users, here are 7 tips to make sure their experience is a good, simple one.

1. Design for horizontal swiping.

Recent eye tracking research indicates that a user’s instinct is to swipe horizontally through a photo gallery. In fact, According to UX Movement, tablet users use horizontal swiping over 93% of the time.

Most of them also prefer swiping horizontally even the most image-heavy interfaces.

2. Users prefer the Carousel Layout

Recent studies show that the “carousel” layout is being identified by users as the best for swiping and for finding calls for action.

The horizontal layout requires very little eye movement in order to switch focus to other categories, so with the carousel layout, as users swipe, they’re able to focus with more consistency and efficiency.

3. Avoid Making Multiple Page Items “Swipable.”

Studies indicate that users expect swiping to turn the page, so try not to confuse them by making multiple carousels on each page. This can confuse and frustrate users and make it difficult to swipe between pages.

4. Make Distinct Subject Headings Often.

Users will only focus on content under a particular category.

Make your headings distinct and use bold letters and exciting color in order to distinguish one row from another. If they aren’t fully separate and easily spotted, it makes it difficult to distinguish the themes in each row.

5. Make it Touchable, but Not Too Touchable.

Tablet users often indicate low discoverability as their biggest challenge with websites. Links often don’t look clickable, or their touchable areas are too small to interact effectively.

Another frustration was accidental activation due to unintended touches. These are particularly frustrating for users engaging with websites that don’t add a ‘back’ button.

Ensure that you give appropriate cues, and provide a ‘back’ button, so that your users can find their way back!

6. Take in Count that Tablets are Shared Devices.

While people who use smartphones are individual users, tablets are more shareable devices. In fact, many families consider it a household resource, which means tablets are being used for different purposes than a smartphone.

Make sure that you’re using all opportunities to change your layout and experience for tablet users, whether this is via an app or specific tablet design. You should always be looking for techniques to simplify the user experience. WalkMe, for example, is a solution that makes self-service and online tasking simple and burden free for new and experienced users.

7. Use Partial Images to Cue Swiping and Easier Navigation.

Your tablet users won’t know to swipe unless you give them some navigational clues. You need to let your users know that there is more to see and do by giving them a partial image that will cue them to swipe.

These partial images at the side of the page will cue them to look further.

In Conclusion

In a time where there are is an increased number of users engaging with tablets, you have the opportunity to build a strong UX designed with particular care for the needs of your tablet users.

Work with some of these tips to help build a responsive and unique tablet experience, but remember to keep exploring. According to Gartner: “No single approach will ensure adoption. Productive adoption requires coordinating a range of approaches, depending on the functions being offered; the needs and desires of the audiences they’re offered to; and interplay between the range of functions and approaches.”

Megan Wilson
Megan Wilson is the Lead Author & Editor of UX Motel- the User Experience Blog. She is also the Quality Assurance and UX Specialist at WalkMe. Follow her on Twitter @UXMotel