A recent study from Cisco Webex summarises some of the use patterns if iPad users. The study sampled 27 (21 consumers and 6 business) iPad users and summarised the results. Some interesting points:
Business iPad users with a device provided by the company tend to leave it at home.
“It doesn’t fit in my pocket.” – “It’s so fragile, I try to be careful with it.”
“I can’t really write on it—only really short messages.”
“It’s awkward to try to save anything. You have to go through iTunes.”
When it does travel with its owner, the Pad is part of a “business travel kit”
It cannot replace the true mobile device because of limited phone capabilities.
It cannot replace a paper notebook because writing on the iPad is too cumbersome (and the keyboard dock is not mobile at all).
Its primary function is for multi "tasking" (use parallel to another device).
Users complain that iPad does not allow multitasking on the device.
When you put an iPad in front of study participants, many instantly “correct” the orientation to their usual preference, before they know what app they will use.
From a design perspective the study made the following conclusions:
- Design for shared use among dissimilar users (profiles, protection of privacy)
- Design for limited mobility
- Design to sync with devices the iPad does not replace (phoneand computer)
- Compensate for the lack of a file system
- Design for quiet multi"tasking and other quiet uses in shared space (e.g.,minimize uncontrolled sound and allow one"touch mute)
- Recognize that the orientation preference is not exclusively determined by the app.