3

I've searched around and read UX's help section, but I'm still not sure if this question is too subjective for UX. If it is, I can remove it.

This question applies to cable set-top boxes that have an on-screen TV guide functionality.

When watching TV, a remote's Channel Up button will increment the channel that the set-top box is tuned to by one (ex: channel 738 to channel 739). The Channel Down button changes the channel down in the same fashion (from channel 739 to channel 738).

But when viewing the on-screen TV Guide (example below), the channel buttons actions are reversed.

Pressing the Channel Up button while viewing the on-screen guide scrolls up the channel list. Instead of changing the selected channel to 739 from 738 as expected when pressing the Channel Up button, the user selects 737 from 738.

Pressing the Channel Down button while viewing the on-screen guide scrolls down the channel list. Instead of changing the selected channel to 737 from 738 as expected when pressing the Channel Down button, the user selects 737 from 738.

I've found myself lost in the sea of channels on the on-screen guide after pressing the wrong button a few times expecting to scroll the other way.

Thinking outside the box, what improvements can be made to on-screen TV guides or remotes that would remove this confusing behavior?

on-screen TV Guide example

(original image: http://media.oregonlive.com/ent_impact_tvfilm/photo/cable-listingsjpg-62f21f50eb8fe28d.jpg)

1

While it's not your problem to solve, one suggestion would be to remove the "channel up/down" buttons from the guide's navigation key set. Force the user to navigate exclusively with the arrow pad, which would eliminate your perceived confusion.

Another option would be to change the label dynamically. When the guide is showing, hide the word "channel", allowing just up and down to remain.

Of course, both of those suggestions are ludicrous, and would only frustrate users. Most people are well served by the buttons as they exist today. And good U/X comes from providing consistent, proven utility, not from random changes based on small pockets of confusion that are not easily addressed.

0

I would very much like to have a TV remote with a curved touch pad similar of that to the Steam controller (http://www.engadget.com/products/valve/steam-controller). It would give you varying degrees of speed and would even enable a cursor on the screen for more advanced features.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.