Tablets are some of the coolest computing tools ever, with almost the portability of a smartphone and almost the power of a mid-range laptop or desktop computer. However, for all their sex appeal tablets tend not to be the most practical design tools. Believe it or not, the following are some great justifications for making the investment in a tablet for your own design work.
Convenient Hands-On Interface:
Image via Flickr by ETC@USC
There is just no experience like the usability and web design aspects of tablets because they are the only kind of computer that can be held in one’s hands and manipulated directly. While a smartphone is eminently portable, it’s hard to do much with a screen that small from a design perspective. Laptops and desktops are a good deal clunkier and present the added hindrance that their interface is through the mouse.
Generally it’s considered the best of both words to invest in a stylus that lets you directly write, sketch and draw directly on your tablet.
Clear Secondary Computer Display:
Having two computer screens is a great way to design whatever you need to in a large and accommodating window. However, when you integrate a tablet into the picture you get a little more than simply an extra screen. You also get a screen that allows you to directly interact with and manipulate everything, which is great for the hands-on nature of most designers.
Ease of Instantaneous Display:
Image via Flickr by azwebear
There is a certain aspect of creativity that commands it to be spontaneous. While it might be fun to jump up from lunch and dash back to the office, you may lose valuable minutes in transit and seriously annoy the people you’re dining with. However, there is no more convenient experience than to reach into your bag, pull out your tablet and show everyone around what you’re talking about. The tablet is the perfect device for going back to childhood with a little show and tell.
Helpful to Appreciate the Change of ‘The Fold’:
Back when everyone on the Internet was on a computer, ‘the fold’ was the first part of the screen that loaded when the page did and was generally considered to be a certain size. This was where you would do best to put everything of interest because people often didn’t like to scroll much. However, since the types of devices people use are now quite variable, it behooves you to check out your designs on several different types of devices.
Appreciation of Navigational Golden Mean:
How large should an interface be? How large should a button be? On a computer, the mouse makes even a tiny button easy to access. But with a tablet you can check out how tablet users are going to experience your design and adjust the button’s size accordingly. There is always a “just right” between “too big” and “too small.”
For most people, a tablet PC is just a toy. But for a die-hard designer there is definitely a place for these devices at work as well as at play