At present, the consoles offer other options besides playing games, the communications and mass consumption of content on the Internet have led systems applications that turn them into authentic centers of multimedia entertainment. This has given importance to the user interface, its design and upgrade. Precisely this was the subject of a conference in which some Xbox designers participated.
A report from The Verge on a small conference at Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, Washington, provides information on the process of constantly upgrading the Xbox One UI; something that is very important for the team of designers of the Microsoft console.
In that sense, Chris Novak, chief designer of Xbox, said: “When you talk to customers and ask them what they want,” Novak tells me, “when you line all of those things up, they’re dramatically in conflict. It’s just as intimate as if you were to walk into somebody’s home and look at their furniture and living room and choose what to have around them. You can pick one of those and be wrong for a majority of users. We know that change, any change, carries with it a muscle memory tax and a cognitive load tax. You really have to have confidence… that the end state of this is going to be better for the majority of users.”
On the other hand, Novak said that during the modification of the user interface on Xbox One the idea of the majority of users is present as the group that must satisfy and not only a particular sector: “The easy choice is to only satisfy the hardest of the hardcore or the newest of the new. Both of those things are bad. We needed to build a UI that was flexible, that could really bring the right thing to gamers, and give them the right way to tell us what they wanted.”
Finally, John Snavely, head of console design, revealed that while developing changes to the Xbox One interface is a complicated process, at no time do they feel pressure from a negative point of view: “We don’t have an agonistic relationship to the content. We have a passionate relationship to games, gaming, media. We know our users are very passionate. It’s about an experience that’s not competing for every hour of your day. It’s competing for the hours of the day you spend having fun. It sounds like a constraint, but it’s really a way for us to get more deeply involved.”
What do you think about the Xbox One UI? Do you like the changes they have made since the launch of Xbox One?