Ben Logan

Ben Logan
2 December 2013

TV subscribers with a YouView set-top box will be glad to know that a soon-to-be released update will provide a number of nifty usability enhancements, particularly when it comes to users who struggle with operating the remote control for searches. YouView software version 8.1 will allow people to use a USB keyboard to make the programme search process more smooth sailing. Although this new keyboard functionality is primarily being rolled to help visually-impaired viewers, it will also be a relief for those who simply find using the remote for searches clunky – people will no longer have to use SMS-style…

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Ben Logan
29 November 2013

A new social media platform might just be the answer for disgruntled users of Facebook and WhatsApp who are worried about increasing media reports about how Governments and other bodies are accessing their personal data. Built and self-funded by three students in Montreal, the service is called Syme and has now made available to all after an invite-only beta trial. Co-founder Jonathan Hershon commented on its primary appeal: “The overarching goal of Syme is to make encryption accessible and easy to use for people who aren’t geeks or aren’t hackers or who aren’t cryptography experts.” Syme was designed to be…

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Ben Logan
27 November 2013

YouTube has now released their latest update – V5.3.23 features some user interface tweaks as well as a few other minor under-the-hood enhancements. It must be said that the UI changes are so subtle that many won’t notice them. For example, the slide-out menu used to have Uploads, History, Favourites, Playlists, and Watch later, followed by the user’s subscriptions; in the latest version Google has added “What to Watch and My Subscriptions” above those icons and have also mixed them up a little. Nevertheless, it’s good to know that Google’s usability team is constantly on the case when it comes…

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Ben Logan
20 November 2013

PlayStation 4 hasn’t even been out for a week and already the 1.51 system update has been released, demonstrating that the company’s usability testing team are hard at work. While the new update is not nearly as expansive as the 1.50 ‘day one’ update that made many PS4 features available to gamers, it contains important usability features such as improved software stability and a refined user interface that clearly indicates when a person downloads a game and a game patch at the same time. North American PS4s have automatic downloads of system updates enabled by default when the PS4 is…

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Ben Logan
18 November 2013

On Friday (November 15), electronics giant Samsung took the next step in making its user interface compatible with all browsers, instead of its traditional internal Global Enterprise Resource Planning (G-ERP) UI. Samsung is aiming to enhance corporate productivity by becoming less dependent on IE while allowing diverse web environments for its employees globally. The new web standards-compliant UI now supports a range of different browsers and multiple platforms without needing to install virus-prone Internet Explorer-only features such as ActiveX. The G-ERP project began in 2009 in order to integrate Samsung’s ERP systems across the world. According to industry sources, the…

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Ben Logan
13 November 2013

Last night (November 12), Netflix rolled out a complete revamp of its user interface for smart TVs and connected devices. Their app’s new UI moves away from the old grid of box shot covers in favour of a much more visually appealing display that features large still images and more details on each show or movie. Other usability improvements include refined search – the app auto-suggests titles after users type even a single letter, and also allows a search for actors and directors across Netflix’s catalogue. Additionally, they have improved the initial loading when users start playing a title –…

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