Amazon is really pushing the Kindle and when you go to their homepage, the Kindles are front and center with the Kindle Fire being the most prominently showcased. But have you actually looked at a Kindle Fire? It's not exactly easy to use. So when it comes to usability, the Kindle Fire just plain sucks.
Jakob Nielsen recently trashed the Kindle Fire's usability, calling it disappointing from a user standpoint. Here are a few of its faults:
- The browser is awkward and not at all easy to navigate.
- Buttons are too small for fingers to easily click on, leading to a lot of tap errors.
- Reading magazines are tough to read and flip back between pages.
- Lack of a home button and up/down volume button when using apps or browsing the web.
Yet the Kindle Fire is on fire, selling like hotcakes. Millions were sold last year. What is about the Fire that makes people snatch them up? If it's not usability, then what is it? We all know usability is important, but it seems Amazon has gone beyond that. They've managed to tap into the drives, emotions, and beliefs of their users. As Eric Schaffer, of HFI International, explains in the video below, the Kindle Fire is solid proof that usability is not enough.
This is something that's been brought up by Simon Sinek in his book "The Power of Why." When it comes to our products, most of us tell others what it does and expect others to buy it. This doesn't work. Sinek says that every inspiring leader from Martin Luther King Jr. to companies like Amazon is that they think and talk the same way. They start with asking 'why.' The Kindle Fire is proof of this.
By asking and answer why first, Amazon has managed to convert people into thinking that they need a tablet that isn't just a book reader or movie viewer, but that's a portal into the world.