The iPad has been hailed as an interface triumph. But one usability expert has published an exhaustive critique of the iPad, taking it to task for the inconsistency and obscurity of its apps’ interfaces.
The problem, at its core: A lack of interface standards means every app behaves in a different way.
Dr. Jakob Nielsen, hailed by some as “the king of usability,” this week published a 93-page report evaluating the iPad’s usability based on feedback from seven users who tested 34 different apps and websites. Because the iPad user interface is new and design standards have not been defined for tablet software, Nielsen argues that iPad apps currently suffer from inconsistency and poor “discoverability.”
“What did I just touch? What did I just do? The way you touch can impact what happens, and you can’t see what you just did, so it’s invisible,” Nielsen said in a phone interview with Wired.com.
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