Kindle Oasis Is a Reality Check for Design Snobs – Khoi Vinh

Would it be so hard to make these devices and this software not ugly? Given Amazon’s resources and willingness to invest heavily in all kinds of crazy technological baubles, it seems well within the company’s reach to ship a Kindle that looks like it costs more than the cover price of a hardback bestseller to manufacture; it probably wouldn’t take much more effort to make sure the typography engine features a halfway decent hyphenation and justification algorithm, too.

Designer Khoi Vinh makes a good point. While he says that the new Kindle Oasis is an improvement on the design of the Kindle, he highlights how Amazon simply refuses to spend the time and money to make the display more like a book. The company did release a new font, called Bookerly, last year, which is well-adapted to reading ebooks. But hyphenation and justification are awful.

Interestingly, I came across this article in the Guardian today that says that, according to a study by Kobo, “three quarters of the most active readers are women over 45.” Many of these readers prefer genre fiction – notably romances – and appreciate the ability to change the font size to something more readable than what many paperbacks use.

I agree that the variable font size is one of the best features with any ebook device. I need reading glasses, but I prefer reading my Kindle with a large enough font that I don’t use the glasses. It’s pretty big, and I need to turn “pages” more often, but it’s more comfortable.

Source: Kindle Oasis Is a Reality Check for Design Snobs + Subtraction.com

6 thoughts on “Kindle Oasis Is a Reality Check for Design Snobs – Khoi Vinh

  1. Kobo’s ‘study’ is based on the kobo store, which seems to have a smaller selection than e.g. booksamillion or amazon. I’m pretty sure they’d get different results for library users. Judging from my library’s Overdrive collection, it’s newer non-fiction that has the longest hold lists. Some of this could be because it usually takes longer to read a non-fiction book, but if most people let the books auto-pumpkin instead of explicitly returning them when finished, that shouldn’t make much difference. (Still waiting for “Data and Goliath”, sigh.) I read a fair number of mysteries, and except for a few authors, most are available immediately.

    Admittedly, I don’t read romance, and I can’t quite bring myself to find out enough about it to look at those hold times…

    • I think part of that is because libraries have more copies of books like genre fiction that they are aloud to lend. They may only be able to lend one copy of a non-fiction book at a time, but have five slots for a mystery or romance novel.

  2. Kobo’s ‘study’ is based on the kobo store, which seems to have a smaller selection than e.g. booksamillion or amazon. I’m pretty sure they’d get different results for library users. Judging from my library’s Overdrive collection, it’s newer non-fiction that has the longest hold lists. Some of this could be because it usually takes longer to read a non-fiction book, but if most people let the books auto-pumpkin instead of explicitly returning them when finished, that shouldn’t make much difference. (Still waiting for “Data and Goliath”, sigh.) I read a fair number of mysteries, and except for a few authors, most are available immediately.

    Admittedly, I don’t read romance, and I can’t quite bring myself to find out enough about it to look at those hold times…

    • I think part of that is because libraries have more copies of books like genre fiction that they are aloud to lend. They may only be able to lend one copy of a non-fiction book at a time, but have five slots for a mystery or romance novel.

  3. It’s worth noting your local library can, even if it has a paper copy of a title, get you another copy by using ILL (Interlibrary Loan). I’ve used it get DVDs such as Branagh’s A Midwinter Tale and CDs that I wanted to check out. These copies are for you expressly, so they don’t get into the queue for whoever’s next for the Library copy.

  4. It’s worth noting your local library can, even if it has a paper copy of a title, get you another copy by using ILL (Interlibrary Loan). I’ve used it get DVDs such as Branagh’s A Midwinter Tale and CDs that I wanted to check out. These copies are for you expressly, so they don’t get into the queue for whoever’s next for the Library copy.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.