iPad Usability Study Finds iPad Apps Beautiful but Frustrating

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by iDan, May 12, 2010.

  1. iDan

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    In a research report published today entitled “Usability of iPad Apps and Websites. First Research Findingsâ€, usability expert Jakob Nielsen looks at the usability of 34 iPad apps. He found that while the first generation of iPad apps are certainly regarded as “beautiful†by users, many users were also frustrated by trying to figure out where to touch in order to interact with them. “It’s the Wild West all over again in interaction design,†said Nielsen, principal of Nielsen Norman Group. “We’re seeing the same thing we saw 17 years ago in Web design when anything a designer could draw could be a user interface whether it made sense or not. That’s what’s happening with iPad apps. Anything you can show and touch can be a user interface on this device. There are no standards or expectations, and users just don’t know what to do, or even what options exist.â€

    Illustrating the problem of inconsistent interaction design, Nielsen Norman Group found that when study participants touched a picture or image, such as a logo, any of the following five results could happen in different iPad apps: nothing; the picture enlarges; it hyperlinks to a page with more detail; it flips over to reveal more pictures; or a set of navigation choices pops up.

    The study found that user confusion was made even worse by the fact that the user interfaces on iPad apps are mostly hidden, which results in frequent accidental activations when touched by mistake. People also didn’t know how to revert to the previous state because there is no consistent “undo†feature like the Web’s “Back†button.
    Study participants in Nielsen Norman Group’s research were observed interacting with 34 iPad apps, and in some cases with their related websites. Apps and sites such as AP News, Time Magazine, USA Today, ESPN.com, MLB and Nike.com were included in the study.

    By Maura Sutton iPadForums.net
    Source: Usability of iPad Apps and Websites: First Research Findings
     
  2. Seadog

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    While most of us understand that it will be a while before most things get designed with iPads and touch screens in mind, it can be frustrating. My big complaint is when I try to scroll and whatever is highlighted. Version 1.0 of anything is such a bear.
     
  3. AbblePC

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    Let me guess, in this study they were using monkeys...

    After 5 seconds even in an unfamiliar app, most users can assimilate where most controls are and what is functional or not. Those users of iPhones and iPod Touches would be even more familiar, especially when moving to an app on the iPad that was previously used on the iPhone.

    And do I need to mention the 99 year old (wonderful) woman that adorned our forums for so many days. Not to mention many I spoke to personally since the iPad release which say how intuitive the OS is and easy to use.

    Please, studies like this belong in the back pages of Mad Magazine beside the X-Ray glasses. Preferably beneath such and add, that way I'm not "confused" that it may be an iPad app that's being advertised.
    :eek:
     
  4. gentlefury

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    This study is total BS....A retarded 5 year old could figure out anything on the iPad....iWork so far is the only app that had a slight learning curve.
     
  5. Bremen

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    I can see there may be issues with some apps, but the overall UI experience is very good. Most apps are written by individuals or very small companies, so anything can happen within the apps UI environment.

    While there is plenty of room for refinement in the iPad UI, it is quick and easy to learn and will only get better. Arrow keys and a forward delete button would be s huge improvement for me.....
     
  6. NumbLock

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    Well, Mr. Nielson is obviously less qualified than the [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT4EbM7dCMs"]two years old toddler[/ame] and [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqZpHTUhSYs"]99 years old[/ame] "usability experts".

    "Usability Expert" lol. How do you get that title?

    Seriously, I guess the UI standards will settle down. Page animations of all reading apps should be like iBooks, where to find "settings", "tools" and "back" should at least be the same when possible.
     
  7. henry2

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    thank you gentlemen you have restored my faith in the normal people to be able to work a ipad ..
     
  8. arshield

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    I think there can be issues with some apps not responding in predictable ways. But m 2.5 year old has no issues with navigation and getting where she wants to go and doing what she wants to do, other than not being able to read. But she recognizes "ok" buttons and calls them "ok" buttons and uses them.
     
  9. 4phun

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    Obama said he could not figure it out.
     
  10. IpadOne

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    one more example (if we need it) one of my staff , he is the one quit the school around 11 yrs, ask to try one iPad as he see many of us like it … so we give him one totally empty … he ask one colleague how to install game … he explain him so he try by himself and he open and itunes account ( witch he even don’t know what is itunes) and install almost 30 free app’s … all of us be surprised , he say it’s easy to use this device he say it’s more simple than a computer …

    so i decide to give him one and he will pay me back monthly ….

    i cannot describe how he his happy with it la ….
     

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