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Kindle Fire usability study shows 'disappointing' user experience - Page 3

post #81 of 102
took a look at the Amazon reviewer ratings right now for both the Fire and iPad2.

The Fire got 47% 5 star ratings, but also 21% 1 or 2 star ratings.

The iPad2 got 61% 5 star ratings, and only 13% 1 or 2 star ratings.

this can be spun various ways, but even on Amazon's home turf the iPad gets a better buyer satisfaction score. it will also be interesting to see if the Fire rating changes much after the initial hype period passes.
post #82 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Doesn't matter. The iHaters, trolls, and whiners will just sing the same old song. "just wait till <insert yet another future OS update here> comes out. Then, it will be kewl!"

This usability study comes to no surprise. Typical bottom-barrel tactics and a waste of resources. I'll bet that Bezos knows most will be an impulse-buy, and they will end up gathering dust in some desk drawer or filling some landfill.

Shame on them for manufacturing utter garbage.

I agree with you on one hand -- but on the other; what choice does he have?

Amazon is NOT a technology company. Their BIGGEST profit margin is on these eBooks and they INTENDED to own the market. They had a great store-front and lead on marketing because they've got huge sales of lower cost items.

amazon wanted to move this market to pay for over-priced electronic books. I people get iPads and Android phones to read books -- they are merely another source of bargain books. The Kindle is really a loss-leader like a Inkjet printer that costs $50 but Black Toner costs you $45 for every 200 pages you print. They went from an iPad-like price, to an impulse Buy price because it's the captive E-Book sales that are the future gold mine.


>> Bezos is hoping that most people look at the iPad price, and without any experience, decide to get the Kindle Fire because it is "almost as good and so much cheaper." I'm sure some paid bloggers are out there trying to stoke the flames and keep the ignorant in the belief that iPhone and iPad purchases are only for snobs who want to show off.

Apple was the runt, the stupid artists computer for years -- and yet some iHaters want people to believe that it became the #1 most sought after product because it was expensive and made people look Kewl? It became #1 DESPITE these impediments and it became Kewl because it absolutely is.


>> Google, Amazon and Microsoft are in a panic over Apple controlling the EYEBALLS and EARS of the future. The Siri-TV is going to make them have heart attacks. Since they cannot catch up on technology -- the best shot is; "Flood the market with cheap imitations and BS everyone into thinking they are JUST as GOOD." When all else fails, count on; Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.


>> I've been telling everyone if they want to just read books; get the OLD Kindle. The new one uses too much batter and doesn't use the electronic paper screen -- it has absolutely no benefits over an iTouch. You save a few hundred dollars for a product that will frustrate you.

Save $200 dollars and just buy a years supply of books and WAIT to get a used iPad -- more value than a Kindle.
post #83 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

took a look at the Amazon reviewer ratings right now for both the Fire and iPad2.

The Fire got 47% 5 star ratings, but also 21% 1 or 2 star ratings.

The iPad2 got 61% 5 star ratings, and only 13% 1 or 2 star ratings.

this can be spun various ways, but even on Amazon's home turf the iPad gets a better buyer satisfaction score. it will also be interesting to see if the Fire rating changes much after the initial hype period passes.

Unfortunately without reading each review it's impossible to tell if the star rating is based on the tablet market in general, a direct comparison of the Fire to the iPad (and the iPad to a traditional PC), or if they are saying that even for a $200 tablet it's still not good.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #84 of 102
As others have noted it's possible to have a very usable interface on a 3.5" screen or a 7" screen. It's also possible to have a completely unusable UI even on a 27" screen. It comes down to execution.

Trying to read a non-mobile website on anything smaller than an iPad is an exercise in frustration. You either can't see more than a few words at a time or the text is too small to read. For web forms Safari's use of an overlay makes it really easy to enter data and not have to go hunting for a tiny submit button. Of course not all web sites are supported, but it sure beats the pinch and zoom game.
post #85 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Is he talking about iPads or iPad apps?

He reviewed a number of apps, lots of web pages, and the overall UI. Many of his complaints for the iPad were similar to his complaints on the Kindle Fire: it is not always clear what are elements of the UI, it is difficult to touch UI elements because they are too small.

I think it is worth remembering that Mr. Nielsen is a consultant who gets paid to give seminars on usability and how to improve usability. As such, he may have a bias when reviewing new products to point out or emphasize the flaws in their UI. I do not believe he provides an unbiased review.
post #86 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Good point. Interesting how the very same size kings and queens that are hating on the Fire's 7 inches were the very same proclaiming that 3.5 inches was more than enough back in August.

Yes. Isn't it. Actually, holding the usability of Fire to the standard of performance that Apple has defined is totally unfair. After all, I don't know why a 7" screen should not have problems with touch and zoom gestures.

Oh wait, I use my iPhone on full page websites, like AI and Craigslist without zooming most days. And I have little trouble clicking on those links, like the itty-bitty page number links at the bottom of AI comment pages.

Expecting a 7" tablet to perform equally well seems so unfair.
post #87 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

...I haven't played with a 7 incher long enough to form my own opinion...

TWSS!

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
post #88 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by nofear1az View Post

I don't think you even gave it a chance! I agree that's a bad store presentation of a demo. They probably didn't have it connected to WiFi. Yes, I know the laptops were but did you see any WiFi bars at the top to see if it was connected? I think you were just looking for a quick reason to not like it so you could feel confident in your iPad purchase.

Come back when you have actually purchased and played with it for more than an hour.

I actually had the opportunity to use the Fire for a day and have personally experienced some of the things that are mentioned in the original article. The UI was clunky and didn't make for a smooth experience. Little things, like the animation (err, lack of one) when I turned the Fire from portrait to landscape and vice-versa. The screen wouldn't do a nice rotation animation like the iPhone/iPad, rather it would disappear and then redraw. Also, the accuracy of the touch-screen left a lot to be desired. I found myself making numerous accidental touch inputs (which virtually never happen on my iPhone let alone the iPad) and it was tricky to tap exactly the right icon sometimes in the Fire's cover-flow-like interface.

Recently, a bunch of friends and I threw our annual day-after-Thanksgiving party with 20-30 friends where we usually raffle off some kind of cool prize. Previous years we had raffled off an iPod, a Garmin GPS unit, even a PS3 one year. This year, we were out of ideas, so we decided to buy a Fire and raffle it off. To make a long story short, there just wasn't the kind of enthusiasm for this year's prize as there had been in the past. I spoke to some of our guest and many admitted to having plans to re-gift the Fire if they won the raffle.

That little story is by no means any kind of definitive proof one way or another, but considering that our guest list ran the gamut in terms of techiness, I found it provided an interesting sampling of data regarding interest in the Fire.
post #89 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Unfortunately without reading each review it's impossible to tell if the star rating is based on the tablet market in general, a direct comparison of the Fire to the iPad (and the iPad to a traditional PC), or if they are saying that even for a $200 tablet it's still not good.

yeah, but aggregated it's fair to say these ratings overall are relative to the buyers' expectations/desires, not vs. some other product. that's the typical context of consumers' product reviews. Amazon is not a techie website where fanboys go to duel.
post #90 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrodri View Post

He reviewed a number of apps, lots of web pages, and the overall UI. Many of his complaints for the iPad were similar to his complaints on the Kindle Fire: it is not always clear what are elements of the UI, it is difficult to touch UI elements because they are too small.

I think it is worth remembering that Mr. Nielsen is a consultant who gets paid to give seminars on usability and how to improve usability. As such, he may have a bias when reviewing new products to point out or emphasize the flaws in their UI. I do not believe he provides an unbiased review.

But all of the examples you cited refer to apps, not web pages. Can you provide a quote or a cite for web pages?
post #91 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

But all of the examples you cited refer to apps, not web pages. Can you provide a quote or a cite for web pages?

From the articles mentioned previously:

on websites:
Quote:
we systematically tested 26 iPad apps and 6 websites.

Quote:
Many of last year's usability findings were seen again this year:... Readtap asymmetry for websites, with content that was large enough to read but too small to tap. ... Users disliked typing on the touchscreen and thus avoided the registration process [on websites]...

[quote]

on the UI in general:
Quote:
iPad user interface shouldn't be a scaled-up iPhone UI.

Quote:
one finding from our study is that the tab bar at the bottom of the screen works much worse on iPad than on iPhone. On the small phone, users are likely to notice the muted icons at the bottom of the screen, even if their attention is on content in the middle of the screen. But the iPad's much bigger screen means that users are typically directing their gaze far from the tab bar and they ignore (and forget) those buttons.

Quote:
The iPad has a readtap asymmetry, where text big enough to read is too small to touch.

Quote:
Also, most Web pages offer a rich and overstuffed experience compared to the iPad's sparse and regulated environment; when an iPad app suddenly launches users onto the Web, the transition can be jarring.

Although he focuses on apps in the summary, the actual articles do mention both apps and web browsing, as well as the general UI experience. Overall, he tends to focus om the problems with these things, as would be expected by a usability expert trying to bring attention to them.

Again, my point isn't that he is right or wrong about the Fire - I don't know. But, I would say he has a history of focusing on the problems of new technologies, including being quite critical of the iPad experience.
post #92 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

As others have noted it's possible to have a very usable interface on a 3.5" screen or a 7" screen. It's also possible to have a completely unusable UI even on a 27" screen. It comes down to execution.

I agree.

I've had a Kindle Fire for a few weeks now, and I think, while it isn't as good as an iPad, it isn't nearly as bad as this article implies.

Web browsing on the Fire is poor with the default settings, but is so much better with a few changes, such as turning off accelerated page loading (i.e., cloud-enhanced browsing) and enabling plug-ins on demand. And one can set a preference for either desktop or mobile view or optimize-for-each-site, which works pretty well.

The original OS version that I used, 6.1, had poor touch response and calibration in the UI. For example, I had to aim high to activate the web links I wanted. Recently Amazon issued release 6.2, which improved UI usability and stability. Now I aim dead center at links and rarely miss, even with pages in desktop view.

The Fire works really well for some things, like watching video, reading books and listening to music. Game play varies by title; some are great, but others aren't nearly as good as the iOS version. The Fire is too small for reading magazines in page view, I think, but text view works fine.

So the Fire isn't an iPad killer. But if someone wants to use digital content from Amazon and has the temperament and technical aptitude of a proficient early adopter, it's pretty good. We'll see whether Amazon continues to make usability improvements, which I think would be necessary to appeal to a broader audience.
post #93 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

It's amazing that nearly 5 years after Apple raised the bar and showed the world quality touch interfaces and hardware, other companies continue to make touch products that they know are junk. I actually thought Bezos is the one guy who could demand a quality tablet from his engineers. I'm very surprised that Bezos green lighted the Fire when he undoubtably knew from testing that the 7" platform doesn't work. More than ever, I appreciate Apple's unique talent in the design universe and their insistence on a quality user experience.

I'll drink to that! (raises glass)

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #94 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

We have a Touchpad and it's actually not bad for the way we use it. It was cheap and does everything that we ask of it. Granted, we don't expect it to do as much as an iPad, but I made a conscious decision that I was willing to pay $100 for a device with limited functionality. That should be my right - and if I'm happy with the choice, who are you to say that it's garbage?

I had a chance to get the TouchPad for $99, but chose to pass. It's likely to be the price difference between a 32Gb next-gen iPad and 64GB next-gen iPad. It offers no utility that I don't already get from the iPad 2.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #95 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrodri View Post

I think it is worth remembering that Mr. Nielsen is a consultant who gets paid to give seminars on usability and how to improve usability. As such, he may have a bias when reviewing new products to point out or emphasize the flaws in their UI. I do not believe he provides an unbiased review.

If a reviewer's relevant expertise and knowledge makes his reviews "biased", then I want my reviews as "biased" as possible. Do you want a review written by the most uninformed retard available?
post #96 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Yep, there's always something new on the horizon that the Fandroids have to look forward to.

"Just wait until Honeycomb comes out, that will fix those issues!"

Then that quickly turned into "Just wait until Ice Cream Sandwich comes out, that will fix those issues!"

By the time Android gets to "Z", the shit will still suck.

Ice Cream Sandwich is getting some excellent reviews. Don't rush to dismiss it, as this is the version that will be appearing on Android phones as well as tablets. The reviews point out that Google has managed to create a consistent user experience finally, it all hangs together and works.

Whereas Amazon took an ancient version of Android and then reimplemented their own UI on top of it. Don't lump it in with Android as it is a very different creature.
post #97 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I had a chance to get the TouchPad for $99, but chose to pass. It's likely to be the price difference between a 32Gb next-gen iPad and 64GB next-gen iPad. It offers no utility that I don't already get from the iPad 2.

Of course you were coming from a position of already owning an iPad 2, it's hard to justify spending money on another tablet unless the kids are always stealing the iPad from you.
post #98 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I read that too. There is no pooling on the iPad. I just pressed the screen on my iPad 2 pretty hard, and there is no pooling at all. Nothing, nada.

There are two possibilities that could explain that statement.

(1) It is a bald faced lie.
(2) Their iPad is very defective, and they should get it fixed, pronto.


I got mine to pool, had to push pretty dang hard. Not a chance of it ever happening by accident so definitely a bogus claim. Maybe they were referring to the chinese knock off iPad.
post #99 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

If a reviewer's relevant expertise and knowledge makes his reviews "biased", then I want my reviews as "biased" as possible. Do you want a review written by the most uninformed retard available?

No, but I would like a review written by someone who can report on both good and bad qualities. His studies for both the iPad and the Fire both focus on flaws, not on benefits.

Personally, I disagree with him that "iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with frequent user errors due to accidental gestures. An overly strong print metaphor and weird interaction styles cause further usability problems. " I found the iPad, and most of the apps very easy to use and did not suffer much from accidental gestures, so I felt he may be overly critical.
post #100 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Justin Bieber has 4.5 stars on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Justin-Bieber-...3177775&sr=1-3

As for the Kindle Fire, out of 3,970 reviews, 869 are two stars and below, that's about 22% of all reviews. 523 reviews are rock bottom, 1 star. That's a lot of unsatisfied people. I'm assuming that most of those people are returning theirs. That's a pretty big return rate.

As for the 5 star reviews, basic human psychology explains those. People will go through all sorts of mental gymnastics and self rationalizing to convince themselves that they made a good purchase.

And basic human psychology indicates people with negative experiences are likely to be more vociferous than those with positive experiences by a 5.6 to 1 ratio according to some - so lets adjust for that and anything else we feel like to support any position we care to take.
post #101 of 102
The Fire certainly has built up some sales momentum. I wonder, however, if it will maintain it. I haven't read a single professional review that was anything more than lukewarm on using the device.

Nielsen is generally pretty accurate with his design studies. I remember his notes about some inconsistencies in various (then new) iPad Apps pretty much mirrored the real life experience of many of the people I knew using them.
post #102 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew63 View Post

The Fire certainly has built up some sales momentum. I wonder, however, if it will maintain it. I haven't read a single professional review that was anything more than lukewarm on using the device.

Nielsen is generally pretty accurate with his design studies. I remember his notes about some inconsistencies in various (then new) iPad Apps pretty much mirrored the real life experience of many of the people I knew using them.

The iPad had plenty of lukewarm reviews. They also had plenty of reviews saying how pointless the device was "when it's not even a real computer." Of course, these myopic people were wrong, but understand the foolish bar they held the iPad up to: Can it do exactly what my Mac/Win PC can do?

Regardless of how good the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet is for a $200 tablet it's now being held to iPad standard. That's expected, but it's not acceptable. From my experience I unequivocally state the Fire is not great for its market segment. There is plenty of room to improve in general user experience but all this can be handled with software updates.

We'll know in 6 months if Amazon or B&N did the right thing or if they made a mistake but as of right now I see no signs that call it either way.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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