Interaction design is everywhere. This blog is my moderately academic attempt to capture as many instances of interaction design as I possibly can.

 

Bad Design: Reassessing Life to Avoid Comcast’s UI

"Poorly designed user interface" will most likely never make it to a cable company’s NPS survey, which is a shame, because this is precisely why I opted for no cable television over cable television provided by Comcast.

This UI is poorly designed for several reasons, such as the unnecessary amount of scrolling icons and the lack of important information like the current time. For the sake of this blog, it’s important to know that it was about about 9:15am.

As you can see, Comcast’s UI has provided the user with infinite scrolling… in both directions. This is problematic for several reasons:

  1. Infinite scrolling is problematic in and -∞. If it is impossible to record a TV show from the past, why would a user want to go back in time to see the TV shows he or she missed?
  2. No point of reference. I have no idea what the current time is, so scrolling in the past or in the future becomes confusing.
  3. User’s mental model of channel surfing unaccommodated. Because moving the left/ right arrows is restricted to the infinite scrolling, it is not immediately obvious that you must navigate the vertical channels by clicking the up/down arrows within the time slots. That is, a user can never navigate through the channels directly. The user is forced to keep his or her eye on the TV stations while the scrolling up and down through the physically inconsistent TV schedule grid.

These poor UI design choices combined with the infamously poor customer service provided by Comcast made me reassess my life enough to come to the conclusion that no TV is better than bad TV. I can only imagine how many others have arrived at this same conclusion. When will companies learn that design always matters?

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