Last week, Amazon updated it's Kindle app for iOS. For the iPad, the new update is a case study in poor design. From the update blurb in the app store:
Improved reading experience on iPad: Smaller margins and a cleaner look help you focus on the author's words.
When I first saw this in the blurb, I was immediately suspicious. It's hard to overstate the importance of healthy margins and whitespace in good design. Generally, it's also one of the earlier casualties when good design meets project managers and clients who aren't designers. But I updated the app anyway. Upon opening, I saw what had been a decent treatment of margins had been destroyed by the redesign:
The image on the left is a screen capture from an iPad without the update installed (I'm a developer, I have more than one iPad. How first world of me.). The image on the right is with the update installed.
The smaller margins do indeed help a user focus on the words. In fact, that's all a user can focus on. What Amazon has done is create a solid mass of text that has no breathing room. It's claustrophobic. It's stressed. It's like standing three feet in front of a brick wall and pretending you're appreciating the architecture of a building.
Read on here....http://wtr.mn/MNKvkA