Introducing: User Experience Benchmarks for Tablets and Smartphones

Andreas Pfeiffer | April 06, 2013

Major Points

User experience of tablets and smartphones is one of the most important aspects of the overall perceived value of the device.

Key aspects of the overall user experience are hardware user experience, cognitive load, user experience friction and app store sophistication.

Pfeiffer Consulting has developed methodologies to quantify key parts of the user experience.

The benchmarking project compared four medium-sized tablets: the Amazon Kindle Fire HD (7-inch), Apple’s iPad mini, the Google Nexus 7, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch).

User Experience is arguably the most important aspect of a connected digital device such as a tablet or a smartphone. 

Since these devices are very closely meshed with our everyday lives and our social interactions, a device with a bad user experience can be deeply frustrating, even inhibiting. However, discussing—let alone measuring—user experience seems almost impossible; as soon as we try to do so, we run into complex and confusing issues. As a result, the reviews and expert opinions that are meant to help us differentiate between different models and to guide us in the process of selecting the right device for our personal needs often bypass user experience issues and focus on sometimes arcane technical specifications.

Given the importance tablets and smartphones are increasingly taking in our lives, this incapacity of discussing and measuring what turns out to be one of the most important aspect of the overall value proposition is slowly turning into a serious problem.

We need to be able to discuss objectively what value these devices bring the user, or we are going to be increasingly swamped by hundreds of different models we can not really tell apart any more.

Since 2012, Pfeiffer Consulting has embarked on an ongoing, independent research project to establish some objective criteria for comparing, discussing and measuring the user experience of digital devices. And in doing so, it became immediately clear that it was not enough to discuss some aspects of user experience, but that we would need to establish a coherent conceptual framework that would provide a solid foundation for the research, and could grow and expand as we tackle different devices and future developments.

The reports presented here outline the conceptual framework and benchmark methodology, as well as the first set of results from the 7-inch tablet user experience benchmarks. These are just the very first step in this exciting new area of technology analysis. More will come soon…

I hope you enjoy the reports. We really want to get a discussion going on this subject. Please let us know what you think.