Us web-designers work very hard to make websites easier and more intuitive for our users. We spend countless hours user testing, wireframing, prototyping and going through revision after revision. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many of the large TV / DVD companies. It seems they don't really care about user experience and figure that the only criteria for me to buy their products is the sharpness of the video quality. Granted, that is a major factor in the decision, but if you need a 94-page manual to get to know your Blue-ray player, including a 5-page explanation on how to connect and use an iPod adapter, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the product.
Recently I purchased a Samsung Blue-ray player. A present to myself, for all my hard work... I figured that buying the player from the same manufacturer as my TV would make it easier to work the two. Boy was I wrong. For two products created by the same company, they seem to have serious difficulties operating symbiotically. Not to mention the amount of completely redundant remote buttons, probably put there just to make one remote look like the other and confuse the user ever further... Having a seemingly simple product make me feel like my mom feels about social networking (confused) is not what I like to call usability.
There is a reason why people love Apple products. Though they come with a manual, it seems to stay in the box, simply because it is not needed. You hook the thing to the wall, put it on your desk and start working. It's that simple. Apple should focus, right after they get their iSlate done with, on a TV system. Apple TV isn't enough. I want Apple to create a 40" TV with Blue-ray built in. And while they are at it, why not add Safari, email and Skype action to it. Heck, maybe even have an app on the iPhone that can be a remote for the TV. Just look their sexy Apple TV remote - they are doing it right. You really only need 5 or 6 buttons, and all the other buttons and functionality are put into a menu. Why do we need a blue/green/yellow button? "To activate this option click on the green button"... please, it is 2010 lets get it right.
Written in New York. © 2013