These handy gadgets like the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom and the latest addition RIM’s Playbook have entirely changed the quality of the website experience.
Let us understand the Tablet market landscape. This market consists essentially of Apple’s iPad, Google’s Android-based tablets, and the new entrant RIM’s Playbook. Of these Tablets, Apple’s iPad owns the largest piece of the pie – approximately 90% – and Google’s Android-based tablets like Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab take up the rest.
Apple’s iPad has managed to convert and retain its huge market share despite the fact that it does not support Adobe’s Flash player (which has been a key component in the past for websites to display videos and interactive content). It also has limited multitasking support and limited peripheral connectivity compared to its competition, thanks to its intuitive and snazzy user interface.
So what are the factors that you must consider while designing a website with the Tablet audience in mind?It is quite clear that if you are creating or redesigning your website with the Tablet user in mind, you should make sure that your site follows these guidelines:
1. Remove Flash Content
A visitor to your website, who uses an iPad for instance, cannot see your videos and interactive animation produced using Adobe’s Flash. Although Flash-based websites are very interactive and attractive on a desktop PC, the iPad visitor sees nothing and the main objective of your website which is to convert your visitor to a customer is lost. So make sure your website does not contain any Flash content if you want to engage this iPad visitor.
2. Check Browser Compatibility
In addition to checking your website’s compatibility with major browsers like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome, you now have to test your websites on Apple’s Safari which is the default browser for the iPad. Otherwise your visitor is not going to be able to even open your website, and you’ve lost him.
3. Design a Tablet-optimized Layout
When you design your website for Tablet PCs, the dimensions of the buttons and other form elements must be easy to use in this format. Though Tablets have larger screens compared to mobile phones, you still have to optimize your site’s layout to fit into a Tablet’s screen. And you should also remember that a Tablet user does not use a mouse for navigation. So your navigation should have an easy flow which makes your site a pleasurable experience for the user.
It’s easy to see why designing your website for the Tablet-user makes sound business sense. As more and more visitors to the internet use this route of access, it opens up many avenues for technological innovation – make sure you keep up with the curve!