The folks over at Human Factors International, a company that specializes in user-centered design training and consulting, have published an interesting white paper about the increasingly popular Kindle Fire. Written by the CEO Eric Schaffer, the basic premise of the document states that even though the Fire has some fundamental usability issues with its user interface, it’s still a success for other reasons. What usability issues, you ask?
This quote from the white paper sums it all up quite nicely.
The current Fire design has an awkward browser, and magazines are difficult to navigate and read. There are places where the buttons are too small to easily select and where text has to be read in right-left justified, making it neat looking but harder to read.
But… they are selling millions of units… Why? Because, success is not just about usability. We have to go beyond classic usability and consider the overall user experience. Let’s look at the ‘ecosystem solution,’ the triggers for purchase, and then the emotions during usage. I think we can see why UX teams need to think beyond ease-of-use and consider a bigger picture.
One of the reasons the Kindle Fire is such a success is Amazon.