I am a researcher in a team that has developed a Mobile Banking app for Smartphones (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) and now there is a request to develop that same app for Tablets. I think smart devices, in general, can be categorized into two form factors; phone and tablet form factors with different ways of interaction and experience.

So should we create an app with completely new design and user experience or simply scale already designed User Interface to fill larger screen of tablets? Should we create new ways of interaction in the tablet app other than what exists now (ex. multiple touch)?

What is the UX differences between apps for those two form factors?

  • 1
    apart from the obvious answer of size, we can not tell you if you have to build a new app if we don't know how your actual app is. Another consideration is that tablets are usually used on wi-fi and phones are mostly used on data plans, so cost per byte is different. Number of clicks/taps can get more annoying faster on a small screen ... but all that is just common sense and generic answering.
    – PatomaS
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 5:24
  • And obviously you need to take into account the context of use that is very different between a mobile to a tablet.
    – user52855
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 12:55
  • IA should always stay the same. Always.
    – UXerUIer
    Commented Aug 8, 2014 at 14:44

2 Answers 2


While building an application for another type of device within the same family, you should do your best to preserve consistency between these. But do it wisely:

  • first, do not port directly, but use the same patterns and improve them - simply scaling up is a bad idea
  • second, if it's necessary, improve your mobile phone application instead of making your tablet application worse because of using the same patterns as on mobile phone.

No matter what you do, focus on providing the same visual experience, information architecture and flow on both classes of devices.

Moreover, while creating an application for different platforms (like iOS/Android/Windows Phone), you should focus on making experience as similar as possible, but definitely within the best practice specific for a platform - e.g. you should not port port patterns typical for iOS to Android and the other way around (this only regards patterns typical for a platform, but this "only" is a huge part of your interface usually).

  • Please consider toning down the bolding. When you emphasize a lot of text, in the end nothing gets any emphasis. Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 10:29
  • I always have problem with it, but here you are :) Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 11:36

Typically I'd say you want to keep the same look and feel of whatever apps already exist. The only sensible thing to do is to look at how you can improve certain flows or page layouts based on the bigger screen size.

Don't reinvent the wheel or make any drastic design/UX changes. Just see how the UX can be improved by using the space more efficiently.

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