August 20, 2011

Tablet developer: allow full Website access, or do your homework.

There is nothing more frustraiting to people spending $500 to $800 on a new shiny tablet to find out that your app tries to "enhance" your user experience by providing 3 inch phone functionality.
The full-size, mobile safe, site would work quite nice on the tablet, especially with ability to pinch and pan to get to the particular section.
Going a step further, which is actually not that much extra work, is to provide the comfortable experience taking advantage of the vaste real estate of the tablet.
The other day I was comparing Android Gmail applications between 4, 7, and 10 inch screens. The 10 inch was done in nice 2 column layout with small fonts which made easy to view my email content. The 7 inch was nothing, but blown up small phone app, with huge fonts as if Google was assuming all Galaxy Tab 7 users were vision impaired.
The small screen Gmail app wasted a lot of screen with big buttons in editing mode, buttons that should have been in menu with better, more beautiful iconography, I am sure users would learn to press menu really quickly.
Even the Blogger app I am using now has several buttons that take screen space. I assume that Blogger app is used very frequently, so it should be designed for frequent users, too.

Uki's Google Java Technology blog