Watching my partner navigates a website on iPad

An iPad became the most used tool in our household since its arrival. Our iPad even has the name “Pea-chan.” Other than checking news and blogs, we use Pea-chan to check weekly specials of local grocery stores, take a picture of dishes we make and save photos with the recipe, convert units to see my exact weight in kilograms, scan a QR code to get more information on products, etc.

Habits and Usability

My partner and I were huddling in our heads looking at the iPad one day to check the opening hours and other stuff of a local retail store. When I was watching my partner navigating the website, I realized that her move is very different from mine. Unlike my habit of going to the navigation bar and scanning titles for stuff I am looking for, which often takes two or more clicks to get to the page, she goes directly to the image icons in the main content area and gets what she wants on one click. She says,

I know all contents can be accessed through the navigation bar, but I don’t want to go through all titles. I know what I’m looking for and probably other people have similar interests, so I look for noticeable icons on the home page and often I find what I want.

As a web designer, I am cautious about usability and create eye-catching image icons for easy access to important pages for viewers, but as a viewer, I often forget the convenient icons and shortcuts even if they were created by myself. I think my habit I go through regular navigation is because I’ve got so used to working on website projects starting with a page structure and those pictures of page hierarchy are always in my head. I probably try to look at other websites the same way even if they are created by others.

It’s just a habit when I browse a website, but It was a good reminder of keeping my mind neutral and open for better usability to people with different habits.

Yes, our iPad has almost everything we ask for, but now I am about to pull out my iPhone to take a picture of Pea-chan for this blog. How inconvenient.


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