A new set of large sized tablets are emerging with Samsung "anticipating" the game with it's new Galaxy Note Pro. Fortunately we were able to play with one at CES and review it's features to share what we have learned based on a 30 minutes long interaction with the device. Please note that we mentioned interaction first, as the real success of the device is achieved only if the user interaction is right. This interaction can be greatly perceived by doing standard web surfing and holding the device for a few minutes as in real life.
As most new devices, websites are not not designed to take advantage of their display area; mostly because the device is not popular to start with. Usually websites are optimized to fit the most popular screen sizes as shown in website's traffic statistics. This is done by taking into account device displays that accommodate perhaps around 80% of total website visitors. This was a good approach, until now.
Let's backup a bit and analyze, the web before and the web now:
One could picture the web before as islands that users will visit in their boats. The islands would be your business website with 1 big dock where users could park most boats (or devices). Usually your island was developed with interesting content and most users would be able to fit their boat on your dock.
Basically, websites were created to fit nicely in a standard 1024 pixels width screen and if you'd have a smaller screen, you would have to scroll to the "right" to view everything.
Today, things have changed in many aspects.Many new devices have appeared, and the list keeps growing exponentially. So there is a much broader list of screen widths and devices resolutions. A 1024 pixels width screen no longer belongs to the old 17 inches monitor, it could be the width of your iPhone 5s when hold horizontally.
But wait? This means that now islands have to be built with thousands of docks to accommodate all sizes? No, fortunately web developers are smarter than that. Although the number of smart-phones and tablets have increased, professional web developers are already designing responsive sites (one website that adapt to all devices), but usually taking into account your standard devices:
Computers and Laptops
According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be 26 Billion devices connected to the Internet (the world will be then 7.7B) Although a web browser will not be installed in all of them, a big part of the Internet infrastructure relays on the functionality of a business website and the services it offers. Currently, the stake on new devices could be larger tablets, smart watches, smart glasses and smart TVs. However, a web design decision should no longer be based on accommodating your site for a new set of devices, but more on aligning the business strategy with the methods available to reach your clients. With 93% mobile penetration, it would make sense for a business to structure its website to accommodate mobile traffic.
First off, the overall experience with the larger tablet (Note Pro) gave us a positive perspective on how holding a thin device with a larger screen will feel for business everyday use. At 2560 x 1600 pixels and 12.2 inches, the Note Pro provides a sharp 247 DPI (similar to iPads with Retina). Although a bit heavy, seemed a good starting point taking into account the success of iPad 3 and 4 even thought they where heavy in comparison to the new iPad Air. As expected from Samsung, super sized tablets not only allowed you to surf a website at full screen mode but also have 4 windows opened at the same time (multi-tasking). This means that a website should quickly respond to these different setups. As expected, most websites we surfed with the device behave similarly as they will in a desktop computer. Desktop computers are transitioning to be touch devices, and having similar sized displays, large tablets should share similar characteristics. But we must keep in mind that although similar, they have important differences mostly related to the purpose of choosing a tablet as supposed to a computer. Taking a tablet to a meeting instead of a laptop seem the most common application, so following these considerations would make a fruitful event instead of a bad session.
Although tablets do not have the processing power of a laptop, they are expected to load things as fast. Detecting the device first and displaying tablet friendly content (specially images) should not be ignored.
Also, taking advantage of the additional display real estate should be anticipated.
Never under-estimate the power of touch, so correctly distributing and setting up reasonable sized buttons could mean heaven or hell to your prospect or client.
Lastly, consider how the business will benefit from this new line of devices. As for most popular devices, they offer a new opportunity to reach your clientele in different manners and periods of time. Whether you are creating a site to showcase your products on the Internet or creating a web app to aid your sales force during client's meetings, make sure that your are not designing for a specific set of devices. Simply make sure to include larger tablets as part of your one website for all devices strategy.
The website features a fully responsive product gallery, an online payment platform and a content management system. It showcases different antiques products in various categories and was developed to be navigated with ease.