7” Tablet Usability Study of the Kindle Fire

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 01:49 AM

    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/kindle-fire-usability.html

    Summary: Mobile web sites work best on the 7-inch tablet. Users had great trouble touching the correct items on full sites, where UI elements are too small on the Fire screen.

    No surprises here (i.e. mobile site’s is a phrase meaning cell phone versions of sites)

    7-inch tablets have either a glorious future or will fail miserably. I doubt there’s a middle path in their future. For 7-inch tablets to succeed, service and content providers must design specifically for these devices.

    Well I don’t think its that bad, but they have studies of watching users fat finger lots of input because of too small control sizes, and in fact even having fingers cover up the assistive highlighting that is there to help with UX.

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  • Posted: 06 December 2011 06:33 AM #1

    He also makes the point that the Fire apps should really be based on the kind one builds for smartphones, and then the Fire seems like a big screen, luxurious.

    This is a hint to Amazon, do not try to imitate a “regular” screen size.

         
  • Posted: 06 December 2011 08:54 AM #2

    Very small sample.  Let’s wait for Amazon’s next quarterly report before jumping to conclusions.

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 11:45 AM #3

    The “7 inch screen is too small for your viewing pleasure” comment, always reminds me of what Steve Jobs said.

    http://www.cultofmac.com/133531/steve-jobs-was-right-7-inch-kindle-fire-sucks-to-use/

    [ Edited: 06 December 2011 11:53 AM by afterglow ]

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 11:50 AM #4

    westech - 06 December 2011 12:54 PM

    Very small sample.  Let’s wait for Amazon’s next quarterly report before jumping to conclusions.

    FYI:  The early word from All Things D is that “Kindle Fire Will Vaporize Android Tablet Rivals”

    http://allthingsd.com/20111206/kindle-fire-will-vaporize-android-tablet-rivals

    I love the graphic attached to the article, I’ve always thought that Amazon is like Wile E. Coyote’s ACME Inc grin

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 12:03 PM #5

    Do you browse/email/read on your iPhone or iPod Touch’s 3.5” screen?

    Then why wouldn’t that be better on a screen that’s 4 times larger (a 7” screen)?

         
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    Posted: 06 December 2011 12:17 PM #6

    ibuck - 06 December 2011 04:03 PM

    Do you browse/email/read on your iPhone or iPod Touch’s 3.5” screen?

    Then why wouldn’t that be better on a screen that’s 4 times larger (a 7” screen)?

    Rarely.  I use Safari on my iPhone only when there isn’t an app, or I need to look up something from google quickly. 

    I think the real issue is are app developers going to make custom apps designed for the 7” form factor in the Android universe.

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 12:28 PM #7

    ChicagoBob - 06 December 2011 04:17 PM

    are app developers going to make custom apps designed for the 7” form factor in the Android universe.

    If they can make money doing so, they will, just like iOS developers will modify their apps for a 7” iPod Touch or 7” iPad Mini (whatever they call it).

         
  • Posted: 06 December 2011 12:46 PM #8

    ibuck - 06 December 2011 04:03 PM

    Do you browse/email/read on your iPhone or iPod Touch’s 3.5” screen?

    Then why wouldn’t that be better on a screen that’s 4 times larger (a 7” screen)?

    I browse/e/mail/read on my iPhone only when I don’t have a larger screen available, usually my iPad.

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 01:10 PM #9

    ChicagoBob - 06 December 2011 05:49 AM

    http://www.useit.com/alertbox/kindle-fire-usability.html.

    Conclusions by the article are what we would expect logically.

    a.  7” is too small to view full websites designed for desktop/laptop.
    b.  7” is luxurious when viewing mobile websites which are designed for 3.5” display.
    c.  Catch 22 for 7”, need volume for apps developers to be interested, volume can only be there if there are many apps.

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  • Posted: 06 December 2011 01:12 PM #10

    I think the real issue is are app developers going to make custom apps designed for the 7” form factor in the Android universe.

    That is one of the questions.  The other major one is whether the Fire buyer has any more propensity to pay for third party apps than the other Android owners.  I personally doubt it.  The class of customer that chooses the Fire is extremely price sensitive.  I suspect that few will shell out significant $ for apps.

    So for these apps to happen, the Fire has to sell in large numbers AND the customer base must be willing to pay for apps.  Tough equation in my view.  So I think that most app developers will sit on the sidelines for a while.  Other than the heavyweights that is. 

    Also, I think the Fire will be a non-starter for developers who target Enterprise.  There is no reason to expect the Fire to make any headway in that market at all.

         
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    Posted: 06 December 2011 05:10 PM #11

    ibuck - 06 December 2011 04:28 PM

    If they can make money doing so, they will, just like iOS developers will modify their apps for a 7” iPod Touch or 7” iPad Mini (whatever they call it).

    I think you’ve nailed it.  Here is the key question: who is buying the 7” Kindle Fire and will they buy apps?
    (a) folks who can’t / don’t want to pay more than $199;
    (b) folks that want a 7” tablet
    {or (c) folks who love their Kindles and think it’ll be a Kindle on steroids}

    The analysis starts with how many Kindle Fires will be sold.  For sake of discussion lets assume its 5M (allegedly Amazon’s entire production run) and there are no returns, that’s a nice easy number.  So, how many of those users will be active app buyers and will developers be able to make enough money to make a profit? 

    To date Android apps have not been anywhere near as profitable for developers as iOS apps have been.  In fact, the Android ecosystem is mostly geared towards free ad supported apps.

    Will the Amazon market change this?  Possibly, I’m not sure.  But I think it will mostly consist of existing Android developers—unless it does turn out to be a profitable market.  I don’t know many iOS developers that are enthusiastic about working with Amazon, but they will do it if consumers do use the market and spend money on apps.

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 05:42 PM #12

    If you want an interesting read from a developer viewpoint

    You can read this developers experience as the Amazon featured app of the day. 

    ShiftJelly

    What makes us mad though is the public perception that Amazon pays developers to be featured. Every single person we asked on Twitter or via email thought they were helping developers out, and getting a free application. Amazon does nothing to dispel these rumours, in fact they put really restrictive clauses at the bottom of their emails, saying that no one is even allowed to discuss these back door deals they are doing. But that?s not our only beef with Amazon:

    Lengthy review times of anywhere up to 2 weeks (I?ve lost count of the amount of emails from people asking why our Google Market app is newer)
    Amazon gets to set the price of your app to whatever they want, without any input from you, or even the chance to reject their price
    Amazon re-writes your description, and in ours they even made up things like ?add up to 100 podcasts?. No idea where on earth they got that number from
    Amazon don?t provide error reports like Google do making it hard to fix errors
    They don?t yet support Google?s new multiple APK initiative
    Amazon pays far later than Google does, and to date we haven?t received any cheques from them, even though we are listed as being ?payed?
    US Only
    Much less real-time sales information than Google
    Update: (and this one surprised us) you can?t remove apps from their store! You have to ask them for permission via an email. Every other store lets you remove apps from sale.

         
  • Posted: 06 December 2011 06:06 PM #13

    ibuck - 06 December 2011 04:03 PM

    Do you browse/email/read on your iPhone or iPod Touch’s 3.5” screen?

    Then why wouldn’t that be better on a screen that’s 4 times larger (a 7” screen)?

    Because my iphone fits in my pocket.  Kind of like how cameras were before the iphone4s pretty much made them obselete.  You would either shop for the smallest camera to put in your pocket or the nicest camera that wouldnt.

         
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    Posted: 06 December 2011 07:58 PM #14

    The next kindle will undoubtedly be 9-10” screen size - this may have originally been the plan for generation 1, but maybe amazon couldn’t pass up the firesale prices it got on the hardware originally destined for the doomed playbook.

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    Posted: 06 December 2011 08:21 PM #15

    [This post was removed because the moderators arbitrarily censor.]

    [ Edited: 08 January 2012 04:10 AM by the_dragonfly ]

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