I'm going to work on a tablet application, for which I cannot decide if it should have vertical or horizontal interface. While I cannot reveal details of the project, I can tell that this app is going to be for professionals. There are some arguments for landscape and some for portrait mode. So, I have googled some articles, and even found this thread: Are there any statistics on what orientation people prefer to hold tablets at? yet I am still a little bit confused. There are, of course, some types of apps for which vertical (e.g. apps with video content) or portrait (e.g., all the kinds of "photo booths") seems to be more appropriate. My app is going to include both types of content and some tools as well, which I believe (at least at this stage) could be both vertical and horizontal. It is possible to go both orientations after all (but this will increase production cost).
I wonder what would be the best approach to this project. Some ways to go:
- build the app in only one of the orientations - either vertical or horizontal. To do this, I need some resources to dig through and decide which is better (quite hard in my case, but maybe looking at similar apps will let me decide).
- build it in both orientations - however this will significantly increase the production costs.
Regarding the second scenario, I would need to focus on reducing the further development costs and cut off one of the versions (unfortunately!). I do have some ideas to implement, namely collecting statistics of the usage of the application (which orientation is preferred by the users), even using some MVP approach. However, I'm not sure about the real value of such stats. Let's just assume people prefer to use tablets in landscape mode - giving them both orientations would lead (I believe) to use the application in landscape regardless the real usability difference of UI between both orientations due to just this general usage preference, even if the portrait orientation would be more usable.
So, the question is how to extract the actual and valuable data from such statistics or is there any other numerical method that would let me determine the right orientation for a tablet app?
And the second one: what do you think would be the cost of skipping further development of one of the lines (vertical/horizontal)?