Different scales need different focuses

Tabletops and landscapes need more attention at different stages of the design process. In a tabletop, you need to spend your time designing a rock-solid object models with clear interaction design. It’s nice to have good wayfinding cues, but suboptimal landmarks are not going to sink your experience. In contrast, landscapes need to be navigable above all else. Landscapes still need a content/object model, but a few idiosyncrasies will not render them unusable.

Because both of these scales are older than the internet and many of the broad strokes of this distinction are intuitive, there is a robust tradition of patterns appropriate to either tabletops or landscapes. While some are shared, using most tabletop (app) patterns for a landscape (website) will not work, and vice versa. Product designers tend to know this intuitively, but articulating why you can’t use that part of your design system in this part of your experience is easier with neuroscience on your side.

Hybrid experiences also make it complicated for even experienced product designers to determine exactly when one set of patterns needs to give way to another. Assessing the experience you’re designing by looking at its objects, just like your brain would, can bring sudden clarity.