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iPad User Tests: Kids, grandparents, moms, and more try it out

Posted on | April 6, 2010 | 1 Comment

I continue to be fascinated with the iPad, which was just released on Saturday. I think this is because it’s a new kind of device —  not quite a laptop, not quite a smartphone. And previous attempts to create a tablet market have failed pretty badly and at great expense. Just 2 days ago, I posted some initial user feedback from my mom on the iPad, and now I’m following up with a bit more from her, and a collection of feedback from other types of user.

First, the latest from mom from an email exchange this morning:

Mom: “I want the HP Slate”

Q: Why?

A: “flash, cameras, usb port.”

Well then! On with some other interesting user tests from the web:

A 2.5 year old test the iPad. This one is really interesting — definitely check it out. I was amazed at how quickly she became productive with the device.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT4EbM7dCMs

…someone else’s mom and grandfather unbox the iPad.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pIhjTBZBVY

…more kids playing a game together.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDREsjApLWM

…and finally, a blender “tests” the iPad. I couldn’t resist posting this one, but I left out the one with the kids and the baseball bat.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAl28d6tbko

I see a lot of user excitement using the iPad as a device for gaming and interactivity.
Clearly, kids love it and it’s amazing to watch how they instinctively know how to swipe and prod the screen to accomplish their tasks. It’s perfect for interactive books and multiplayer games. I can easily imagine that in a couple of years, people will be getting their kids apps for tablet devices instead of physical toys. This is an opportunity for a spill-proof protective case product 😉
The iPad seems OK for consuming media.
But some comments about the need for a stand and overall weight lead me to wonder if it’s delivering in this area as strongly. “You have to prop it up to watch a movie.” “It’s too heavy to hold up above you in bed when you’re reading for long.” But I’d certainly take it over my Kindle, mainly because I want color, backlighting, and a touchscreen.
As a content creation tool the limitations of the keyboard, applications, and form factor make me wonder if this is really the optimum use of the iPad tablet.
My guess is this is not Apple’s goal at all, but I’m confused by the emphasis on porting iWork to the platform. Looking down at a screen all day seems like it’s going to send a lot of people to the chiropractor. And there (currently) aren’t many productivity applications which are functional on a touch screen. But over time, these limitations can be addressed if this is a useful form factor for productivity applications.
In any case, this is a rare opportunity to see how a new kind of consumer technology device is adopted by the wider population. It’s a gutsy move by Apple to push a tablet, and regardless of what happens with sales I’m sure we’ll see a large number of competing tablet devices on the market this year. It is possible we’ll all have one a couple of years from now, and the mouse will fade from use once and for all.
NOTE: Two new videos added 4/16 for a Cat and a Dog “user test”
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NP-AeKX40
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3xdcx2WUcU

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One Response to “iPad User Tests: Kids, grandparents, moms, and more try it out”

  1. The iPad is for grandparents, not just geeks! « Apps for iPads
    September 3rd, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    […] iPad User Tests: Kids, grandparents, moms, and more try it out … – I continue to be fascinated with the iPad, which was just released on Saturday. I think […]

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