Is Web Navigation with Tablet More Difficult Than with Laptop?
Navigating websites is a common daily activity for many people. But websites may introduce usability problems that can disturb activity of web users, which may be more detrimental when users navigate tablet or smartphone (with small displays) and as the complexity of the navigation increases. To test this hypothesis, we carried out a study in which we manipulated the usability quality of the website, support used (tablet-10’1 inches vs laptop-17’3) and the complexity of navigational tasks to be performed. 79 students were divided into 4 independent groups: 20 with tablet and usable website, 19 with tablet and non-usable website, 20 with laptop and usable website and 20 with laptop and non-usable website. All the participants performed 3 simple tasks 3 difficult tasks and impossible tasks.
The main results showed that the complexity and the website visited impacted performances: simple tasks were solved easier than difficult and impossible ones, especially when participants performed usable website than non-usable website. But surprisingly, the use of tablet did not impair performances compared to laptop. These results may be due to the task to be performed. Navigating within a website with links is probably easier than to search information with search engine (which requires formulate queries, open many website, etc.).
KeywordsNavigation Tablet Usability Search complexity
This research is part of the project “Learning with Tablets: Acceptance and Cognitive Processes (LETACOP)” funded by the ANR (National Research Agency) – ANR-14-CE24-0032.
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