Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stupidest Kindle Touch Feature

Standard touch-screen tap zones
In all fairness, this should be called the "least well thought out" feature, or the "clumsiest execution of a good idea," or something along those lines. But anytime you can use the word "stupidest" in a blog title you should, because it will inevitably draw in more readers. People love to read about stupid stuff other people do. And while I'll allow for "best intentions" and give kudos for the effort, I have to say that this is one of the most awkward solutions I've ever seen to what is inherently a very simple problem.

The new Kindle Touch screen tap zones
I mean, in all honesty, who thinks this was a good idea? How does a very narrow (half-inch or so) "previous page" zone on the very far left side make anything easier for the vast majority of us right-handed readers? That is not an "EasyReach" for me. I don't know about the rest of you, but my right thumb isn't six inches long. I'm not a monkey, after all (not for several million years at least). And being right-handed I tend to hold a book more often with my dominant appendage (unless I'm drinking coffee or taking notes, that is). Why handicap the majority of readers by making it virtually impossible to turn back a page while holding the device in your right hand?

What I like to call "Smart Zones" (graphic by me)
An old adage says that all else being equal, the simplest solution is always the best. With that in mind, the correct solution is simply to turn the standard three vertical zones into three horizontal zones, thereby creating three equal areas that either thumb can easily reach without having to awkwardly stretch over or across or around another, and with ample area to accommodate various sized fingers (even six inch monkey fingers). Tap anywhere around the bottom corner on either side to advance to the next page...simple! Tap anywhere near the middle of the page with either thumb to go back...easy!! And tap anywhere around about the upper region to access the menu...what could be more practical or elegant than that? Symmetrical, harmonious, and universal, as all tech things should be. Seriously, how on earth did this possibly escape what is otherwise one of the most innovative design teams on the planet today?

P.S. If anyone affiliated with Amazon reads this, please pass it along to your R&D department for future reference, with my regards!