Hardware

Usability Considerations for Mobile Devices

The client always means a business client perspective. When recommending mobile devices we need to make the following considerations:

 

Weight/Portability

How heavy is the device? A heavy device is not a mobile device. A light device will be easy for employees to transport the device to work in mobile locations. 

You also need to consider the size of the device. A large tablet like the iPad Pro may be light but its huge 12 inch screen will require it to be transported externally in a backpack or suitcase. You cannot hold it for a long period of time. A phone is however, extremely portable, fitting in the pocket of any user.

Power and Performance

Unless specifically stated, mobile employees are not performing complex, performance tasks on mobile devices. These are usually saved for high performance desktops at the business premises. Users however, need a CPU adequate to meet everyday tasks such as word processing, email and light editing. 

Employees also require an adequate amount of RAM to perform basic multitasking. 2GB for phones and tablets is adequate, while 4GB is the minimum for laptops. 

Battery Life

Employees need to be able to work on mobile devices for a whole day. An 8 hour battery life is ideal for most employee requirements. 

Internet Accessibility and Speeds

Mobile devices are often always performing work with an internet connection. All mobile devices should be equiped with a WiFi internet connection, with 802.11ac offering the fast transfer speed.

An added plus is where mobile devices have a sim card port for cellular data. This allows employees to insert a sim card to access an internet connect where cellular data connections are available and are not limited to WiFi locations.

User Interaction Medium

Is the user interacting with the device via touch or a keyboard and trackpad? A touch screen is usually more ideal as employees can use the mobile device in a standing position. Laptop users cannot work unless there is a suitable physical support for the device such as a desk or a user's lap. 

Some touch devices also include a stylus which is great for annotations. An added plus!

Cost

Mobile devices, alike most technology, depreciate quickly in value. Businesses also roll out mobile devices in bulk for all their employees. It is important that mobile devices are not too expensive as this places a financial strain on the business. 

Around no more than $1000 is ideal.

Examples of Ideal Mobile Devices for Business
  • Macbook Air

  • iPad Pro (10 inch)

  • Windows Ultrabooks

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 

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