Kindle V Sony
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Kindle V Sony

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Catalyst Group conducted a qualitative study to see whether people who\'d never used digital books preferred the more popular Kindle or Sony\'s eReader. The results are intriguing.

Catalyst Group conducted a qualitative study to see whether people who\'d never used digital books preferred the more popular Kindle or Sony\'s eReader. The results are intriguing.

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    Kindle V Sony Kindle V Sony Presentation Transcript

    • vs. Amazon Kindle 2/Sony PRS-700 eReader Preference June 2009 345 Seventh Avenue · 11th floor · New York · NY · 10001 CATALYSTGROUP p. +212.243.7777 f. +212.243.7077 e. info@catalystnyc.com w. www.catalystnyc.com
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Objectives Feedback Value Gather users’ general impressions of the Gauge users’ reaction to the overall value of the Kindle Amazon Kindle 2 and Sony PRS-700 eReader devices, and Sony eReader devices. including the overall organization and presentation of content. Comparison Note: Throughout this report, the Amazon Kindle 2 and Gather users’ overall preference between the Kindle Sony PRS-700 eReaders will be referred to as ‘Kindle’ and and Sony eReader devices. ‘Sony’ respectively. Interaction Design Determine how the presentation and layout of the Kindle and Sony eReader devices fit with users’ expectations and needs. Visual Design Gauge users’ reaction to the styling and look of the Kindle and Sony eReader devices. 2
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Methodology 12 moderated one-on-one qualitative interviews Participants performed a list of realistic tasks (60 minutes) were conducted on June 8, 19, and 22, (e.g., highlighting text, etc.) after which they were asked 2009 at the Catalyst Group office in New York, NY. to comment on their experience using the device (i.e., citing their likes/dislikes, ease/difficulty, suggested Participants were all college-educated professionals improvements, value, etc.) (6 males, 6 females) with no previous experience using either the Kindle or Sony. Before the end of each session, participants were asked to select the device they liked best and why. Participants were not initially told that the Kindle and Sony were the focus of the discussion. The logo of Participants were also asked whether they would likely each device was concealed with tape. purchase or use either device. 3
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Statement of Limitations The intention of these discussions was to provide insights and design direction; not quantitative assessment. The observations in this report reflect the views of 12 participants. While accurate for this population, their views may not be representative of the overall population. This report summarizes comments thought to be the most useful for providing insights and design feedback for the reviewed devices. 4
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Overall Preferences 5
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Overall Preferences | Survey Results & Reasons 8 Tie 1 3 Overall reasons for preferring Overall reasons for preferring • Clearer navigation • Touch screen interface • Better shopping experience • Ability to change font size • More aesthetically pleasing • Perceived “durability” and “sturdiness” • Better tactile “feel” • Backlight feature Detailed Preferences <<< << < Tie > >> >>> Physical Controls (i.e., location, appropriateness, •• •• •• • • • • •• intuitiveness) “Feel” (Product Handling) (i.e., weight, grip, surface texture) • • • •• ••• ••• • User Interface (i.e., navigation, layout, labeling) •• •• •• • • •• •• Screen Resolution •••• •• •• ••• • Shopping Experience •••• • • • • (i.e., buying books to store on device) •••• Key: • = 1 user’s preference 6
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Key Insights 7
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Key Insights 1. 2. 3. Overall, most users (8 out of 12) However, the Sony also had Despite this, all users thought preferred the Kindle to the Sony some positive features both devices had shortcomings and that the best eReader had Clearer navigation – Users found the Kindle The touch screen interface not been created yet easier to navigate despite mentioning that they would rather have a touch screen The backlight feature interface : The ability to change the font size on any page Better shopping experience – Users found The lack of a touch screen interface the Kindle’s shopping experience easier since The perceived “durability” and “sturdiness” of it allowed them to download items directly the device The lack of a color interface onto the device without the need of a computer The reliance on icons to describe menu The slow operating time (e.g., loading pages, options rather than text joystick movements) More aesthetically pleasing – Users found the Kindle more “sophisticated” and : “elegant” looking Non-wireless shopping Better tactile “feel” – Users commented that handling the Kindle felt more “natural” and Difficulty navigating “pleasing” The lack of a dictionary The lack of a color interface 8
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Key Insights (cont.) 4. 5. Although most users preferred The couple of users who said the Kindle to the Sony, they they would consider buying a gave several reasons why they Kindle lost interest once retail would not likely buy this device pricing was discussed Some did not regard themselves as “big All users were asked to estimate the price of readers” and therefore would not find much each device. The Kindle averaged $210 and value in it the Sony averaged $185. The actual price of either device is about 75% higher at $350 Several preferred the tactile “feeling” of real books (e.g., turning pages, etc.) A few found electronic devices too “fragile” A few did not want more technology in their daily lives Price assumptions did not suggest value 9
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Detailed Insights 10
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Physical Design | Overall Preference Winner: Almost all users preferred the physical design of the Kindle to the Sony Most users found the “thin,” “minimalistic,” “sleek,” and “rounded” look of the Kindle aesthetically pleasing in contrast to the Sony which they found “boxy,” “clunky,” and “very old school 80’s.” “I thought it [the Sony] would be sleeker like the Vaio.” Unlike the Sony, users found that the Kindle’s hardware features (e.g., keyboard) made the device more “accessible.” “[The keyboard on the Kindle] makes it easier to see what’s going on.” Unlike the Sony, users found that the glare-free screen and “less fuzzy” resolution on the Kindle made it easier to read. “[The Kindle] doesn’t bring any eye strain.” 11
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Physical Design | Drawbacks Although users generally preferred the physical design of the Kindle to the Sony, they thought it had a few drawbacks Positioning of controls Size of buttons A A couple of users thought the size of the Having buttons on both sides of the device buttons should be more proportionally equal. concerned users that they might accidently press one while holding it. “Why’s the ‘Next Page’ button larger than the ‘Prev Page’ button?” B A They did not understand why one of the ‘Next Page’ buttons was located on the left- side of the device. Rather than having two Purpose of joystick ‘Next Page’ buttons, they thought the left- B A few users were not clear what the hand one should have been a ‘Previous Page’ purpose of the joystick was before using the button instead. device. Users thought they could navigate “[The two ‘Next Page’ buttons] serve the pages by using the arrow button on the same function.” Keyboard instead. Once understanding the Kindle joystick’s function, they mentioned that they B The joystick positioned on the right-side of would prefer a track ball. the device made it “unfriendly” to left-hand “The square didn’t look like it [a joystick].” users. “I want it to be just like my Blackberry.” “This [joystick] would be really irritating if you were left-handed.” “It’s not intuitive.” “It’s [the joystick] out of nowhere on the right.” 12
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Physical Design | Drawbacks (cont.) Although users generally preferred the physical design of the Kindle to the Sony, they thought it had a few drawbacks Lack of an ‘Enter’ button Perceived fragility A A couple of users expected an ‘Enter’ button A couple of users thought that the Kindle did on the keyboard to perform functions that not seem as “durable” as the Sony. They currently can only be done by pressing the mentioned that the metal finish on the Sony joystick. made it look “sturdier.” They also thought the Sony was less likely to “slip out” of their ‘Back’ button implementation hands. Kindle unintuitive Lack of a backlight A Users did not like that the ‘Back’ button returned them to the beginning of a section Users liked that the Sony offered a backlight rather than a page. As a result, they lost data and thought this was missing on the Kindle. they had entered. “That’s disappointing [that the Kindle does not have a backlight].” Sony 13
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Physical Design | Other Points of Interest A couple of users commented that the Kindle felt more like an APPLE product based on its “simplicity” and “white color.” The Sony, in contrast, felt more like a PC product since operating the device seemed more “technical.” 14
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Interface Design | Overall Preference Winner: Although users responded positively to the touch screen interface on the Sony and wanted this included on the Kindle, most nevertheless preferred Kindle’s non-touch interface The Kindle was considered “easier to use.” This was mostly due to the explanatory text provided at the bottom of the screen, which helped guide users to perform tasks such as highlighting text. “I like that it’s telling me what to do.” The Sony offered no such complementary feature and as a result, users had a harder time accomplishing tasks. “It’s two/three steps to get to where you want.” Users also responded very favorably to the dictionary on the Kindle, a feature which they thought was missing on the Sony. They wanted, however, to also be able to turn this feature off. “That’s a cool, nifty feature.” 15
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Interface Design | Drawbacks A Although more users preferred Kindle’s interface to the Sony, they thought it had several drawbacks Slow operating time Issues with on/off states Compared to the Sony, the Kindle operated Unlike the Sony, the on/off states of the Kindle too slowly. Loading pages and moving the confused a couple of users. The picture cursor with the joystick were thought to be displayed in the Kindle’s off-state led a couple too time-consuming. of users to believe the device was actually turned on. “It's a little slower than I thought it would be.” “Am I that dumb? [Not knowing whether Kindle – ‘Menu’ Screen the Kindle was on or off].” “It takes forever [to get somewhere with the joystick].” “That’s a little stressful.” Not enough icons A couple of users also thought that the picture A displayed on the Kindle during the off-state A Unlike the Sony, menu functions on the did not look part of the screen itself. Kindle were too “text-heavy.” Users found the “It had a fake look to it.” icons used on the Sony more appealing but thought that further work was needed as they “It’s like a sticker was in front of were not intuitive. the screen.” Sony – ‘Menu’ Screen 16
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Interface Design | Drawbacks (cont.) Although more users preferred Kindle’s interface to the Sony, they thought it had several drawbacks Unclear progress bar A Unlike the Sony, several users had trouble interpreting the progress bar on the Kindle and thus found it more difficult identifying the page they were on. A “I’m not really sure what that [‘Locations’] means.” A “[The progress bar on the Sony is] much easier to understand.” Inability to alter font size Users liked that they could increase/decrease the font size on the Sony and felt this feature was a major omission on the Kindle. Kindle – ‘Text’ Screen Sony – ‘Text’ Screen “[The inability to change the font size on the Kindle] destroys the product!” 17
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Interface Design | Drawbacks (cont.) Users also thought that both the Kindle and Sony interfaces had some of the same drawbacks Lack of color The lack of a color interface made the devices look “behind the times.” “I feel like I’m using a Palm Pilot with that thing.” “It’s not that advanced looking.” “It’s like a museum piece.” The black and white interfaces made it more difficult to determine what was clickable on a page. The black transition screens shown while flipping between sections/pages were Kindle – ‘Home’ Screen Sony – ‘Home’ Screen considered “ugly.” 18
    • AMAZON KINDLE VS. SONY PRS-700 – EREADER PREFERENCE Shopping Experience | Overall Preference Winner: Users preferred shopping on the Kindle to the Sony They liked that the Kindle allowed them to download items directly onto the device without the need of a computer. The flexibility that this direct downloading process offered them was considered important. Sony – ‘Shopping’ Screen “This is great if you're on the road.” “It's easier and faster [than shopping on the Sony].” “It’s instant gratification.” Kindle – ‘Shopping’ Screen 19