Strategy.

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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Marianne Brierley
10 November 2013

Organisations’ social media must deliver a clear benefit to the audience. Other usability considerations include having: a strong audience-focus, appropriate timing and custom copywriting. The first rule of social media is: social media is generally used to engage with friends and family, not organisations. The second rule of social media is: this makes social media a very challenging environment for most organisations. Of course, there are exceptions – it’s relatively easy, for example, to use social media to promote something sexy (such as upcoming film releases, sporting news or celebrity gossip). With topics that people are already interested in, social…

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Ben Logan
5 November 2013

Fresh details are filtering through about the much anticipated PlayStation 4 user interface, as well as about certain limitations it will present. Due for release on 29 November in Europe, the next-generation console’s UI (version 1.5) has three divided levels – the top section contains functionality for Friends, Profile and Settings; the middle section features icons of various games and the last layer contains the Library and Store. Overall, the user interface is said to be “light but fast” – players can leave and enter a game in an “instant”, while jumping between various areas is easily done through simple…

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Ben Logan
29 October 2013

The launch of Microsoft’s Xbox One is creeping towards us, and as the November 22 release date draws ever closer a new video has been released to showcase the next generation console’s updated user interface. First to be seen is the Home screen on display when users boot up their console – it features a Metro style interface (as has been known for some time) and various apps such as Netflix, Internet Explorer, Xbox Music, Skype and a Friends list. Although it is not made clear whether the user interface video is running in real time, a narrative voice is…

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Ben Logan
2 October 2013

NASA is gearing up to launch a 3D printer into space next year – a move that could very much establish a significant change in how space flight is approached and undertaken. Rather than having to load up with a large supply of tools and spare parts, as well as in extreme cases having to abort missions due to missing equipment, a 3D printer would serve as a factory in space that can reproduce an infinite amount of crucial objects. Dave Korsmeyer, Director of Engineering at NASA’s Ames Research Centre, commented: “If you want to be adaptable, you have to…

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Ben Logan
30 August 2013

Like many large web-based companies, Netflix are continually conducting usability tests across their platforms and developing new strategies to maximise the testing results. Netflix’s pro-active beta-testing program is automatically rolled out to new users so that tweaks and changes can be tested by newly subscribed users. Neil Hunt, Chief Product Tester at Netflix, explained their strategy: “Most testing is done with brand new users who don’t have learned behaviours to unlearn, that gives us the cleanest read, and so the typical new user coming in will end up in half a dozen or a dozen different test experiences, most of…

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