With the launch of the iPad Mini you may be wondering whether you should buy one, especially if you already own an iPad. What are the usability and ux benefits to you?
So, let’s have a look at what a smaller screen size means to your user experience.
Using the iPad requires two hands – why use two when you can use one? The smaller hardware of the Mini now brings one-handed use to the iPad. It also opens up the range of postures you can adopt whilst using it as holding the device becomes easier and more flexible.
Although the iPad looks like it should be portable, in reality it’s not ideal. It’s slightly too large to fit comfortably in many bags (particularly ladies handbags) and it’s also fairly weighty which means carrying it around all day can become a real pain in the neck (literally). You have to make a choice whether you really want to take it to the coffee shop because you can’t just slip it into your pocket like you can a mobile phone. The iPad Mini should take away some of this cognitive decision making process as it will have increased portability.
Great for public transport
Do you take your iPad on the tube? It’s more likely you’ll take your Kindle due to the portability factors above, as well as needing one hand free to hold onto the rail. With the launch of the Mini, it’s likely we’ll see increased use of iPads (Mini versions) on the tube, bus, airplanes, etc.
Touchscreens appeal to children in a big way. With their glossy screens, bright colours, big buttons and direct touch interface, the interaction is natural for youngsters (not to mention pets!). But do you trust your child with your iPad? Or is too expensive and too heavy? The iPad Mini could open the doors to increased use of the Mini with children. We could see an increase in educational apps as more and more parents invest in this cheaper and smaller, more child friendly version of the iPad for their children.
Better User Experience for certain apps
Some apps are just a bit fiddly when shrunk down to mobile, yet are too big and not ideal to use on a large device. The iPad Mini offers the perfect screen size and hardware for apps such as maps and navigation, where pinching and zooming on a mobile can be frustrating and difficult, but carrying a full sized iPad around is cumbersome.
The Fun Factor
The Mini will have all the benefits of the iPad in a smaller, more portable format. This means it’s ideal for playing games and taking with you to meet friends. This is a use case the iPad misses out on a lot. Sitting in a coffee shop, showing things like photos and websites to friends and generally becoming a more social product that you don’t just use by yourself but interact with together is incredibly powerful.
Increased Emotional Attachment
We already know that people become emotionally attached to their mobiles and one reason for this is they carry their mobile with them almost everywhere they go. With increased portability, there is an increased likelihood of emotional attachment with the Mini.
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