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Study: Kindle Fire User Experience “disappointingly poor”

Study: Kindle Fire User Experience “disappointingly poor”

A recent study by usability guru Jakob Nielsen has rated the Kindle Fire as “disappointingly poor user experience”, especially with regard to web browsing and magazine reading. The report also stated that the Silk browser was “clunky and error prone”.

He also pointed what he thought was the most striking defect:

“The most striking observation from testing the Fire is that everything is much too small on the screen, leading to frequent tap errors and accidental activation. You haven’t seen the fat-finger problem in its full glory until you’ve watched users struggle to touch things on the Fire”

He even went as far as saying that Amazon might have created the poor browsing experience on purpose:

“If I were given to conspiracy theories, I’d say that Amazon deliberately designed a poor web browsing user experience to keep Fire users from shopping on competing sites. Amazon’s own built-in shopping app has great usability, so they clearly know how to design for the tablet,”

This assessment is especially interesting considering Steve Jobs’ criticisms of 7″ tablets, stating that the content would be to small, and users would need to “sand down” their fingers to make it work.

I’m getting ready for about four or five Fandroids to leave comments as to why this person is an idiot and why he tested it wrong or some other excuse. Fair enough, but remember these aren’t my words, they’re his, and he (Jakob Nielsen) is one of the top gadget usability experts. You’ve got a lot of arguing to do, Fandroids.

  1. Never saw the use of 7″ tablets. Definitely too small to get any kind of work done or have any fun. I used to work at a Best Buy and I was working with a customer and discussing tablets. He was interested in the Android 7″ tablets. I discussed that I was an iPad owner and preferred tablets in that size range. He liked the smaller tablets. I grabbed some of the 10″ Android tablets and pushed my opinion on why 7″ tablets were unnecessary. His argument? “I can fit it in my coat pocket”. I said, “Can you fit your smart phone in your pocket?” and he replied “Yes, I can–” and I replied “Then why do you need a small tablet to put in there too when it does the same thing? You want a phone and tablet in your pocket?” Bigger tablets aren’t not portable. I “lug” my iPad everywhere that I know my iPhone won’t do the job, which is mainly work and school.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Interesting how Apple’s product designs zero in so close on “perfection” that it would indeed be difficult for anyone else to improve on those designs without infringing on Apple’s patents. Seven inch tablets are categorically too far away from that perfection point, but I guess they had to see for themselves.

  4. Jon says:

    Once again what is the point of these Fire articles? I’m amazed by the apple fansites constant need to discount the credibility of rival gadgets as if it somehow makes the iPad a better device than it already is. For the record I own an iPhone, iPad, iMac and Macbook Pro and find them all wonderful. 

    The final paragraph about fandroids attacking you is just as ridiculous as this article. Stick to apple news

  5. Jpgoodwin says:

    I suppose the reason that people bring u articles like this is because of scathing comments that exist because someone enjoys using an Apple device, without problems. Plus it’s not like android and nearly every other company don’t like to strike, the moment a problem appears with an Apple device, so apple fan sites feel the pre-disposed need to defend. Oh yeah and Samsungs latest Galaxy phone ad campaign doesn’t help much… the cheek!

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