Parker Ehret

digital polymath. problem solver. coffee drinker. beard grower. picture taker.
Lead Product Designer at oneID. Previously at Yahoo.

ux best practice: tablet scrolling

as a designer, i’ve always valued symmetry and balance. however, i came across the tesla model x site on my ipad and it made me rethink some tablet best practices.

when i first got to the page i immediately noticed the ugly gutter on the right hand side of the page. i assumed it was a development oversight and the site hadn’t been optimized for a tablet device. but as i scrolled down the page, i realized this gutter had a purpose. a few of the modules on the page were interactive, and as i interacted with the modules, my touch inputs affected the interaction of the module, not the scrolling of the page.

tesla had designed a scroll gutter!

in hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer. but, this is one of the first sites that i’ve come across that has some really smooth touch interactions, coupled with a scrolling solution.

as i design for more interactive sites, i’m definitely going to start using this obvious solution as a ux best practice for tablet devices.

reinventing the web browser

as software and applications have advanced, i think the one thing that hasn’t advanced the way it should is the web browser.

if you put safari, chrome and firefox next to each other, aside from subtle differences, they all pretty much look the same. and, they all pretty much give the user the same web browsing experience.

a bar across the top, tabs, minimize buttons, boring, boring, boring.

i think the web browser should be more visual. it should offer the user multiple sources of information with minimal clicking, and it should be constantly adapting to how the user is using the application.

in the past, i’ve talked about a curated web browsing experience and as time has gone by i’ve come to believe in it’s importance. if there was a set way that webpages were viewed, like on an ipad, it would be a better experience for the users, designers and developers alike.

with all that said, i put together a mock-up of what i think the web browser should look like.

it always takes up the whole screen, with the page you’re currently viewing at front and center displayed at a fixed width. tabs are now open pages on the left. social media is always streaming on the right. backgrounds and foregrounds lighten and darken as the user interacts with the browser. navigation adapts and slides into place.

this is how i want to experience the web.

the new internet

i’m beginning to realize that i prefer a curated web-browsing experience.

i was once in school for architecture. the projects that i enjoyed the most were the ones in which i’d have to design within a very specific space or lot size. i had the most trouble working within a large area and having too much freedom within a given space.

i’ve recently realized i enjoy the same principle when applied to the internet. not only as a designer, but as a user.

i don’t own an ipad yet, but have had the opportunity to use one quite frequently. i’ve even done some web designs geared towards the ipad. i’ve realized that i much prefer designing for a 768x1024px screen. in web design, you always have to keep in mind that the end user could be using any number of web browsers or screen sizes, which, in my opinion, limits your creativity. one user may view a site one way, while another user may view it completely differently. this sometimes causes you to dumb down a design or layout. yet, having a specific space to design within, you know that no matter what you design, it will always look how it was designed to look. 

this form of curated computing could ultimately end up creating a more user-friendly web-browsing experience, for both the designer and the user.