The Ai office was abuzz today with the news of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The new tablet appears to be the first competitor to steal the wind out of the iPad’s sails (and possibly iPad sales as well).
The overall sentiment around the implications of the product itself was a guarded excitement. Most of that excitement focused on the price, an appetizing $199.
It is only a matter of time before t-commerce reaches the tipping point that sends it into its boom. A sub $200 price tag could be that tipping point. If so, retailers with tablet-optimized UX will be the benefactors. With only a seven-inch screen, the Fire will put an even higher premium on the size of retail sites’ calls-to-action.
While the Amazon redesign may have overlooked many t-commerce UX fundamentals, one site that appears to be perfectly optimized for use on the Fire is the recently launched, MyHabit, Amazon’s partner in competition with Gilt Groupe. With large call-outs and a minimalistic design layout, the site appears to be tailor-made for use with the Fire (even down the the flash product videos, which will render on the Fire’s Silk browser).
After the (positive) sticker shock, the second-most exciting piece of news to come out of today’s Amazon press conference was the the Fire’s native Silk browser. Silk is a truly tablet-optimized browser that will split site rendering processing power between the tablet and Amazon’s cloud computing system. Using Amazon’s cloud as a type of “endless cache,” sites should render significantly quicker than they would using only the Fire’s dual core processor.
This type of “split browsing” (as Amazon is calling it) has huge implications for t-commerce. During this early period of tablet development, processing assistance is vital for optimizing page load times.
Ai has put a premium on designing sites for page load time optimization. Will this innovation make this optimization irrelevant? The answer is almost certainly “no” since even with the demo of the browser show some lag in load times. It could mean though that sites optimized for page load speed have comparable load times on Silk as they would on a laptop.
The one real certainty coming out of this news is that the future of t-commerce is getting closer by the minute.