Tablet users struggle with many websites - survey

Forty percent experience crashes

Tablet users are being let down by poor-performing websites and the companies behind those websites are potentially losing large amounts of cash as a result, according to the results of a survey.

A survey of 2,000 tablet users across the world, by application performance management (APM) firm Compuware, shows that tablet users have high expectations for web experiences and a third are less likely to make purchases online from companies that don't meet those expectations.

Tablet users expect websites and transactions to work flawlessly, according to the research. But the Compuware survey shows that 40 percent of tablet users have experienced a problem when accessing websites, with two-thirds reporting slow load times, and more than 40 percent experiencing website crashes or problems with website functions.

Survey respondents said a bad website experience will drive them to a competitive website (46 percent), with 35 percent less likely to visit the problematic website on any platform at all. A third said website problems would mean they were less likely to purchase from that company.

Almost 70 percent of tablet users expect a web site to load in two seconds or less, and nearly half of tablet users will retry a web site only once or twice if it did not work initially.

Steve Tack, CTO of Compuware APM, said: "Companies are not meeting tablet users' web experience expectations. Tablet users represent a coveted audience that in general tends to spend more per order, so organisations that ignore tablet users do so at their own peril."

More custom applications for tablets designed for specific job roles are needed to support wider tablet business use, according to analyst Ovum.

With the launch of Apple's new iPad and RIM's Playbook now seeking to carve a larger business niche, Ovum recently published new research on enterprise tablets.

Ovum analyst Richard Absalom said: "Providing a range of customised applications that make use of tablet functionalities for employees in specific job roles is a good way to gain maximum value from tablets."

Using line-of-business tablet applications specifically designed for particular roles within an organisation "can provide real value", said Absalom.

Ovum forecasts there will be over 235 million tablets in circulation by 2016, although it says many organisations are adopting tablets simply to appease top employees' desires for the latest technology, rather than considering the real business case.

According to iPass, a provider of mobility services for enterprises and telcos, tablet adoption in the enterprise has grown to 64 percent in 2012 from 41 percent in the second quarter of 2011. iPass questioned over 1,800 mobile enterprise employees at 1,100 enterprises worldwide for a survey on mobile working.

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Antony Savvas

Computerworld Saigon

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