Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Kindle Fire is definitely NOT ready for prime time.

A few weeks ago I posted here my initial assessment of the newly released Kindle Fire. I was underwhelmed and sent the unit back after about a week. Since then I have read many other reviews of the device. While most were not quite as damning as mine, I have been eagerly awaiting Jakob Nielsen's review. Dr. Nielsen holds a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen. He is a User Advocate and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group which he co-founded with Dr. Donald A. Norman (former VP of research at Apple Computer). Before starting NNG in 1998 he was a Sun Microsystems Distinguished Engineer. He is widely considered "The King of Usability".

And, he didn't like it either, saying:
  • It is heavy and awkward to hold
  • Everything is much too small on the screen, leading to frequent tap errors and accidental activation.
  • The lack of button controls is just wrong.

  • The magazine reading experience could be good but actually is miserable.

  • Screen updates are too slow.

  • And, generally, the Kindle Fire suffers from plain old bad UI design in many areas

You can read the entire review here.

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