Back in the good old days, game consoles didn't really need their own on-screen interface. You simply put in the cartridge, turned the thing on, and played the game. But as our systems have expanded to handle everything from downloadable games to Netflix streaming, they've needed increasingly complex interfaces to help users manage all those different tasks. Microsoft's latest Xbox 360 dashboard update launches on Tuesday, and I've been using it as part of a beta program for a few months now. Previous changes to the Xbox interface have been pretty radical, but this is a more incremental update. Still, it's a welcome one.
"I think...with the holiday release last year we went more toward the Windows 8 look and feel," Xbox group client manager Kevin Gammill told Ars. "What you see with the release this year is a further refinement on that, primarily driven by what we found from research and what our users were actually doing."
Those refinements come from what Gammill calls "both qualitative and quantitative user research at a microscopic level." The process started earlier this year, long before the beta launched for hundreds of thousands of Xbox users, Gammill said. Microsoft conducted mock-up testing at its Redmond campus and detailed in-home testing among targeted users in the US and internationally. Gammill and his team also pay attention to aggregate usage data from both beta testers and users of last year's dashboard update, as well as general complaints and suggestions on message boards.
Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Article by Kyle Orland (c) Ars Technica - Read full story here.