It’s something most, if not all, tablet users have experienced.
You open an email and it instantly loses its formatting. You go to a website but you can’t read all of the text and the call to action button doesn’t work. What do you do? You simply close the window move on.
All of the hard work and expense that has inevitably gone into design and development is wasted if users don’t have the experience that what was intended.
Tablets have carved out their very own niche since they were first released in 2000. Now, they’re a staple in most homes. For many younger children, the tablet has been their gateway into the world of technology.
What this all means for business is that tablets shouldn’t be forgotten when designing websites and emails.
Know your users
Do you know how many people access your website from which devices? Google Analytics, for example, can tell you what percentage of website visitors are accessing your site via their desktop, mobile or tablet. This will give you helpful insight into how to focus your efforts with design and development.
Responsive design for tablets
Nearly 98% of emails are read on just one device, so if it can’t be read on a tablet or smartphone then recipients are unlikely to try to open it again on their desktop.
Try to avoid the trap of just focusing on the desktop user experience. When developing a website or email, think of the mobile and tablet user as well as those accessing from the desktop.
Responsive design should meet the same standards for user experience and accessibility as the desktop version.
Users are increasingly impatient and intolerant of technical glitches and poor user experience, and don’t think twice about giving up and going elsewhere.
Mobiles and tablets require slightly different thinking. The limited screen size available on smartphones and tablets makes it difficult to click on elements of a webpage or email with pinpoint accuracy. Consider using larger buttons and more space around the navigation to improve usability.
Consider also where buttons are located on your responsive design. Tablet users generally find it easier and more intuitive to click in the bottom right and left corners of the screen.
Poor responsive design also carries connotations of fraud and users may be less likely to trust the site if it doesn’t live up to the same experience as on the desktop version.
Don’t forget to check your branding. There should be consistency in design and visual identity across your desktop, tablet and mobile sites to avoid confusion and maintain trust with your brand. Distorted logos, poor resolution graphics, the wrong brand colours or fonts can act as warning flags to users.
Optimise your content for tablets
Tablet users are more likely to read longer-form content than those on desktops.
However, many content providers still get it wrong when it comes to correctly optimising web pages for tablet users. Fonts that are too small to be read comfortably and text which is so wide it spills off the edge of the screen are two of the biggest problems. Remember, it is much easier to scroll down than it is to scroll across on any device.
In some cases, such as e-commerce product pages, tablet and mobile versions may even require content to be stripped back due to space constraints of the smaller screen. If you have to edit, you should make sure visitors still have all the information they need.