Before you decide if your site should be catered to the Apple iPad market, we need to affirm a few things.

  1. The iPad is new, with any new product, there is a margin error in the design that needs to be resolved over time using updates and new models.
  2. Who will be using the iPad and how will they use it? Are they shoppers, spectators, readers etc. What websites will they visit?
  3. How is the browser designed to resolve web technology? Can they “use” the site tools and navigation?

Before we go further we must now understand the product and how it has been engineered. When it comes to usability, we look to Jacob Nielsen, the king of usabiltiy.

iPad Usability: First Findings From User Testing

iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with
frequent user errors due to accidental gestures. An overly strong print
metaphor and weird interaction styles cause further usability problems.

“It looks like a giant iPhone,” is the first thing users say when asked to test an iPad. (Their second comment? “Wow, it’s heavy.”)

But from an interaction design perspective, an iPad user interface shouldn’t be a scaled-up iPhone UI.

Indeed, one finding from our study is that the tab bar at the bottom of the screen works much worse on iPad than on iPhone. On the small phone, users are likely to notice the muted icons at the bottom of the screen, even if their attention is on content in the middle of the screen. But the iPad’s much bigger screen means that users are typically directing their gaze far from the tab bar and they ignore (and forget) those buttons.

Read on at >