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Showing posts from January, 2009

What's driving the Mini's audio system?

Two colleagues of mine (Naseem Hasan and Jared Jeffers) and I recently conducted an evaluation of the Mini Clubman's dashboard user interface. A good portion of the 'eval' focused on the Mini's powerful and feature-rich audio system. Most of the controls for the audio system and the car's computerized settings are situated near the oversized analog speedometer. Although most controls are well-labeled (including 'Audio' for switching modes and 'Main Menu' for navigation), the system suffers from an inefficient layout of controls and poor error recovery. The main selection dial for the audio system is located just below the FM tuner buttons and could be easily mistaken for the separate volume control, which sits below the CD player outside of the main area of interaction. This volume control seems disconnected from the rest of the audio system.The system has direct iPod and iPhone connectivity providing users versatility and flexibility with inputs for…

Watching music videos with Comcast On-Demand

Comcast provides bonus music video content and concert footage through their 'On-Demand' channel but the 'Music' section is difficult to navigate and lacks flexibility.
From the 'Music' link, there are 20 options including 'All Videos A-L' and 'MTV2' with all sorts of submenus but, without a breadcrumb, navigation is unclear. Once I found a video I liked (by Interpol), I couldn't remember how I found it.
After a video was done playing, I was immediately brought back to the previous menu but at the beginning of the alphabetical video list. I expected to be brought back to my previous location in the list to watch more videos by the same artist. I also wanted to be able to select multiple videos rather than selecting only one a time. This inflexibility causes frustration; breadcrumbs and multiple selection would make 'On-Demand' a better music user experience.