New Kindle Fire presents a poor user experience
Tuesday 21st February, by Stephanie Clark
Amazon's new Kindle Fire presents a disappointingly poor user experience. Making use of the web with the Silk browser is clunky and error-prone. Reading downloaded magazines is not much better. Still, user testing with the Fire did help people comprehend what the new generation of 7-inch tablets is good for: Are they more like 10-inch tablets (e.g., the iPad) or more like 3.5-inch mobile phones? To give away the conclusion, the response is: "a bit of both."
For Kindle Fire users, search engines ought to prioritise links to mobile sites in the SERP (search engine results page). Currently, search engines frequently hurt users by pointing to full sites even when companies offer mobile sites that would be much easier to use.
The Fire is a heavy object. it is uncomfortable to hold for extended periods of time. The shortage of physical buttons for turning the page also hampers on the reading experience for fiction. On the older Kindles, it's easy to keep a finger on the button when all you use it for is to flip the page. In contrast, tapping an area of the screen disrupts reading pleasure, is slightly error-prone, and leaves smudges on the screen.
Pragmatically, it will not pay for magazine publishers, websites, application programmers, and other service providers to prepare and build a separate version of their offerings for 7-inch tablets unless these devices provide many millions of users. Unless there's a substantial payoff, the expense of maintaining numerous versions will be too great.
They are durable enough to offer good usability when designs are optimised for the 7-inch platform. The screen is large enough to show pretty pictures and full-colour illustrations, and it can also support fairly efficient navigation and other user actions. When made right, the 7-inch user experience is richer and more enjoyable than a mobile phone UX.
Meanwhile, the group favored the traditional Kindle design when it came to reading books, but acknowledged that the The Kindle Fire can easily be called a success, despite its drawbacks in the usability department. People are not buying it for how it's used ... they are purchasing it for what it can access: The Amazon Ecosystem. It's content from a business they already know and trust, at an inexpensive price