A TechCrunch article reports that a recent study conducted by University of Washington has found that Amazon Kindle has some major "UI problems" particularly in the case of students being able to use it for their school reading. These "UI problems" include the need for a "skimmable" abstract of content and a better note-taking ability. But wait, wasn't Kindle created for leisure reading? Yep, a quote from the original study emphasizes that it was:
"Most e-readers were designed for leisure reading, think romance novels on the beach,"' said co-author Charlotte Lee, a UW assistant professor of Human Centered Design and Engineering. "We found that reading is just a small part of what students are doing. And when we realize how dynamic and complicated a process this is, it kind of redefines what it means to design an e-reader."
Can we really call these findings "UI problems" when we know that Kindle was designed for leisure reading and not for students taking notes? Not so sure we can. Judging from the study there might be a new use case for Kindle in which the target market is students. This new use case might require some new features added.
The question now becomes should Amazon go after this target market? Is this a good business decision? Could it be too early for Kindle to add more features? It would be interesting to see if Amazon ends up using their press release process to evaluate the answer for this question.