Considerations for tablet design & UX

Design for the platform, unless you want to stand out

There are at least two distinct paradigms which can be considered when designing for tablets; design for the platform and its users, or design for a consistent experience. The former, which considers established user familiarities around a particular system whilst more closely adhering to the manufacturers UI (user interface) guidelines, could be argued the more utilitarian, less creative approach to application and interface creation. The latter paradigm is more concerned with providing a seamless experience nascent to the delivery platform – this approach, although contradicting the manufacturers intentions does actually work well for users who access a brand or application via several different devices and platforms.

Responding to its environment

The development philosophy of responsive design is one which caters for any number of devices and their requirements. Adopting this approach means challenging the traditional way designers think about priority, function and layout amongst other factors, which is considered a good thing since the result will aim to produce the best possible end-user experience.

Delight through interaction

Designing for the tablet should not be a challenge, but should be viewed as a set of different challenges. Once understood, learned and pushed these factors can subsequently create a slew of device-centric innovations, both in terms of visual design and interaction design; ranging from  skeuomorphic aesthetics and augmented reality usage to understanding and adhering to Fitts law – the positive effect of user engagement is without doubt enhanced as a result.

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