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Saturday, May 3, 2008

An interesting observation....

I spoke with the business development folks attached to the Kindle at Amazon this past week. Our second such call. Those conversations are always quite interesting. An observation was made this week that I found quite interesting -- and provides a good lesson in design for all of us as we think about technology and the next generation. Here is how the story goes...

Gettysburg College recently used the Kindle in the classroom. As part of that experiment, they conducted an end-of-the-semester focus group with the students from the class. One of the student observations was that they had a hard time searching the digital content to find particular passages or information they were looking for. One of the focus group observers asked the students why they did not use the search button at the bottom of the device. The students essentially asked, "Search button? Where's that?" The students reported that they did not use the buttons so much and were more inclined to use the menus. This was apparently different from how adults their parents age used the device -- relying more on buttons than menus.

Just an interesting observation. Make of it what you will. As we look at digital course materials though, we should keep in mind who is using it and that their expectations are likely to be quite different from ours.

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