I read this post this morning and thought about students being forced to use Amazon’s new Kindle DX. While I don’t shy away from eBooks and think the Kindle DX is a step in the right direction for textbooks and newspapers, I really think this is a bad move, for one major reason. That is usability.
It’s true that the screen is bigger and as a dedicated reading device the Kindle is pretty good. But reading texts for school is a TOTALLY different type of reading and the Kindle is only going to slow students down and tick them off.
I mean have you ever tried to cross reference something between two separate works on a Kindle? It’s the worst. The device is just not made for easy navigation. Even if you have the forsite to use the bookmark feature and know exactly where the info you need is (remember no page numbers) and you are only using two books for your work, it could take you almost a full minute to close a book, navigate to the other book, find reference, make a note and navigate back and load original text. Killer!
That little flip-flop between titles would take seconds with two books open side-by-side on a desk. The Kindle is just not built with usability in mind. It’s built to deliver books and ease eye-strain. So until they fix the navigation and allow multiple texts to be loaded into the RAM all at once, I’m afraid it’s going to be slow going.
I’m all for saving the environment and spreading the eBook love, but not at the expense of time and productivity.