Some readers may remember that I teach courses in human-computer interaction. By the end of each semester, I hope that students will have learned to analyze the usability of everyday computing devices (among many other skills). Here's a question that I made up for this semester's final exam. Imagine that a company shows you the diagram below, the design for a new ebook reader. The physical device would be about 7 inches wide. As a usability consultant, your job is to analyze the design, identify potential problems, and make recommendations for improvement.
How many real or potential usability problems, including efficiency issues, can you identify? (My students shouldn't find this a difficult question, but it's always hard to tell with new questions.)
Update: The actual Kindle 3.