November 20, 2007

Product Ugly

The release of the Amazon Kindle e-reader thing was a bit of a shock. Not because I wasn’t expecting it, but because for something that apparently took 3 years to develop and was scooped last year, no-one seemed to notice that the aesthetics are somewhat dodgy. It looks like something from the early 80’s – slightly too big and unwieldy, and all those angles seem to act against the kinds of affordance a device like that should be suggesting (“Hold me!”). It might be like the Fat Nano episode of course – in pictures it looked awful but once I’d seen and used one for real all was forgiven, but at the moment the Kindle just looks wrong to me. The keyboard looks difficult to use too – the bottom two rows of keys look difficult to get at with a thumb, even if you were holding the device with one hand while using the other to type. Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder) states that the most important thing about reading a book is that the book simply “disappears”, something they tried to emulate with the Kindle, but I’m not feeling it myself.

Actually while I’m at it, I’ll have a moan about the design of the new Sony PlayStationEye camera:

Quite why the microphone needed to be so much bigger, a different shape and plonked on the top of the lens like that is beyond me. Who’s going to want that next to their designer LCD TV? Not me, it’s living in a drawer under mine until I want to use it.

Thank God for Jonathan Ive, that’s all I can say…

- 3 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Mathew Mannion

    I think the problem is the photo, which implies that the product is some kind of zany Amstrad-induced trapezoid (it looks like the bit on the right is lots of straight edges going back, and therefore the rest of it must do the same). From looking closer it seems that it’s actually really thin, which would probably make it look a lot better at a smaller angle…

    21 Nov 2007, 00:47

  2. Jane

    It is big and ugly.

    21 Nov 2007, 03:37

  3. I liked what ‘Steve Jobs’ had to say on the matter:

    21 Nov 2007, 09:04

Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.


MXNA link



    Other blogs I like...

    Black Pepper Software

    Eismann-sf Go to 'Comments on: Design News for Web, Graphic Designers'

    Ted On Flex Go to 'Ted On Flash'



    Not signed in
    Sign in

    Powered by BlogBuilder