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Kindle 2: Usability Review

kindle 2Amazon.com’s latest version of its ebook reader, Kindle 2 has been making headlines around the world since it’s public release last month. The new version of Kindle has many improvements in its interface and design. However, there are still some usability issues with the product.

I recently read usability review of Kindle 2 by Jakob Nielsen and I agree with most of his arguments about some usability failures of the device.

It is really exciting to see how much potential this devices has in transforming the publishing industry and book readers in coming years. When I tested Kindle 2 I really liked certain aspects of the device and dissapointed with some its design & usability issues.

My suggestion for Kindle engineers is to make the screen touchable just like an iPhone, which will dramatically improve the navigation and usability of the device.

Here are some of things that I liked and disliked about Kindle 2.

The Good:

  • Form: Light Weight and Thin
  • Readability: Screen is readable on any angle
  • Navigation: Easy to Read & Turn book pages
  • Legibility: Adjust Text Size to small to large
  • Ergonomics: Anti-reflective & black and white screen reduces eye strain

The Bad:

  • Form: Mouse (aka four-way joystick) is very difficult to use
  • Readability: Screen area is small, keyboard takes up too much space
  • Navigation: Navigating links or table of contents in blogs, newspapers and magazines is not intuitive
  • Form: Power On and Off button is clunky, not sure when it is on or off
  • Design: The design of the device is not cutting edge