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So, I just had an interview with <insert big company name> that bombed something awful. I was asked to design a shopping app for a tablet that would stand out from websites. All the features that I came up with could easily be replicated on a website. I did suggest add some sort of multi-touch and gestures functionality to make the UX richer and more responsive, but they didn't like that.

So, out of interest and not because of the interview, what are some of the features that you could have on a tablet app that would be difficult or impossible to replicate on a website?

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closed as not constructive by AndroidHustle, Benny Skogberg, JonW Dec 3 '12 at 13:51

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

There is no correct answer to this question, it's more of a discussion topic which isn't suited to the Q&A format. Is there anything in particular that you want an answer to? I'd suggest a better question would be 'should you provide additional functionality on a Tablet for an eCommerce store that you can't offer on a desktop, or should all experiences be consistent across devices' something that can be answered more exactly without being too discussion-y. – JonW Dec 3 '12 at 12:55
Well, I'm looking for specific things that can be perhaps included in a tablet experience. But I guess you're right, there may not be one right answer to this. The question your way wouldn't answer my query. But since I asked it, and there is an answer already, I hope the question won't be closed. – Plasty Grove Dec 3 '12 at 13:21
Sorry, but although it is an interesting topic, it's not one that really fits with a Question and Answer framework so it's been closed. However feel free to edit it closer to an answerable question, or have a look at other questions here to give you more insight. – JonW Dec 3 '12 at 13:53

I think the two easiest answers to this question are "convenience" and "context awareness".

Smart devices are incredibly convenient, they are already on our persons much of the time, they are often Internet-connected by default, and they are ready to use which just a tap. No more fumbling around to find a PC or pull out a laptop. That said, this still doesn't differentiate an app from a website. Apps however have presence on the device itself, not only within the browser. Thus they are also available at just a tap (no more URLs) and can store identifying data (single log in on app launch). This compounds this convenience, making the shopping experience as seamless as possible.

However the more interesting advantage smart devices present is their context awareness. They come bundled with an array of sensors most traditional devices do not have. GPS, camera, accelerometer, proximity sensors, NFC, etc.. Leveraging these sensors can create a richer and more rewarding experience.

I can photograph a physical product to see competing offers from other stores, use the GPS to find these stores near me and navigate to them, and finally use NFC to swipe my store loyalty "card". Using an online-only example, I could set up an automatic reminder on an item, to notify me when it comes back in stock or when its price changes. Many of these features are slowly being replicated on the web, but once again, smart devices present a more convenient packaging for the same functionality.

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That's a very good point. GPS, NFC and sensors would definitely make for a more involved experience. But they would incline more towards the "Mobile" version of the app wouldn't they? Tablets aren't as portable as mobile phones and would mostly be used at home, in front of the TV – Plasty Grove Dec 3 '12 at 13:28
Although, it must be said, don't just add these sort of things "because". While they can add value to an experience, if applied poorly they can seem contrived or worse, a privacy concern (I'm looking at you, geotagging of IM messages). – Darq Dec 3 '12 at 13:31
Point taken. It's not that these things 'have' to be used, just that they're there and perhaps a way to use them effectively can be conceived – Plasty Grove Dec 3 '12 at 13:55

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