This paper explores the effectiveness, efficiency and ease of use of two alternative interface interactions in a mobile tablet application. More specifically, the study employs a navigation task which novice users were required to complete by means of two types of main menu button, one utilizing text and the other utilizing a visual metaphor. Furthermore, little evidence exists on the effect of the use of metaphor on users of various ages and levels of computer experience. Our results show that young users prefer buttons that display a visual metaphor in the form of an icon, in contrast to older participants, who preferred the button that employed text. They also show that the users’ performance is dependent upon age.