Is Web Navigation with Tablet More Difficult Than with Laptop?

  • Aline ChevalierEmail author
  • Julien Rivière
  • Jean-Christophe Sakdavong
  • Franck Amadieu
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 850)


Navigating websites is a common daily activity for many people. But websites may introduce usability problems that can disturb activity of web users, which may be more detrimental when users navigate tablet or smartphone (with small displays) and as the complexity of the navigation increases. To test this hypothesis, we carried out a study in which we manipulated the usability quality of the website, support used (tablet-10’1 inches vs laptop-17’3) and the complexity of navigational tasks to be performed. 79 students were divided into 4 independent groups: 20 with tablet and usable website, 19 with tablet and non-usable website, 20 with laptop and usable website and 20 with laptop and non-usable website. All the participants performed 3 simple tasks 3 difficult tasks and impossible tasks.

The main results showed that the complexity and the website visited impacted performances: simple tasks were solved easier than difficult and impossible ones, especially when participants performed usable website than non-usable website. But surprisingly, the use of tablet did not impair performances compared to laptop. These results may be due to the task to be performed. Navigating within a website with links is probably easier than to search information with search engine (which requires formulate queries, open many website, etc.).


Navigation Tablet Usability Search complexity 



This research is part of the project “Learning with Tablets: Acceptance and Cognitive Processes (LETACOP)” funded by the ANR (National Research Agency) – ANR-14-CE24-0032.


  1. 1.
    Chevalier, A., Kicka, M.: Web designers and Web users: influence of ergonomic quality of the Web site on information search. Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Stud. 64, 1031–1048 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chevalier, A., Dommes, A., Marquié, J.-C.: Strategy and accuracy during information search on the Web: Effects of age and complexity of the search questions. Comput. Hum. Behav. 53, 305–315 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jayroe, T.J., Wolfram, D.: Internet searching, tablet technology and older adults. Proc. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 49, 1–3 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Liebe, U., Glenk, K., Oehlmann, M., Meyerhoff, J.: Does the use of mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) affect survey quality and choice behaviour in web surveys? J. Choice Model. 14, 17–31 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Monchaux, S., Amadieu, F., Chevalier, A., Mariné, C.: Query strategies during information searching: effects of prior domain knowledge and complexity of the information problems to be solved. Inf. Process. Manag. 51(5), 557–569 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nielsen, J., Loranger, H.: Prioritizing Web Usability. New Riders Press, Berkeley (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Shitkova, M., Holler, J., Heide, T., Clever, N., Becker, J.: Towards usability guidelines for mobile websites and applications. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik, Osnabrück, Germany (2015)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aline Chevalier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Julien Rivière
    • 1
  • Jean-Christophe Sakdavong
    • 1
  • Franck Amadieu
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Toulouse, Laboratoire Cognition, Langues, Langage, Ergonomie (CNRS UMR 5263), Maison de la rechercheToulouse cedexFrance

Personalised recommendations