[games_access] Fwd: Mersey Remakes

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Sat Nov 28 17:04:57 EST 2015


Thought I'd share this. I often feel like stuff is poorly designed and/or
explained this time as regards usability. Gestures frequently poorly
explained, getting to the basics in phones/tablets/consoles far harder than
it should be, no thought for obvious quick access to essential features
(on/off..... answer phone and put into speaker phone..... library of my
content).....



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From: WE MAKE THE COPS LOOK DUMB <noreply+feedproxy at google.com>
Date: 28 November 2015 at 01:16
Subject: Mersey Remakes
To: barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk


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Posted: 27 Nov 2015 08:22 AM PST

I don’t know where the on/off switch is on the PS4. Up until yesterday, I
didn’t know where the disc drive was either.

I’ve had the PS4 for a year now, I use it quite a bit. And I have genuinely
no idea how to turn it on and off using the console itself.

At least with the whole not knowing where the disc goes in thing I’ve got a
vague excuse in that I very, very rarely put discs in anything that isn’t a
WiiU. I asked for a BluRay drive and burner when I got this PC built at
around the same time I bought the PS4. I’ve now used the disc drive on the
PS4 more times than I’ve used the drive in this computer. I’ve used the
disc drive on the PS4 precisely one whole time.

But the on/off switch? I have no idea.

At the moment, the closest thing I can compare me trying to turn the PS4 on
to is that scene from Flash Gordon where Peter Duncan sticks his hand in a
tree and hopes it doesn’t get munched on. I open up the cabinet under the
television (I’m old, old people have cabinets), I put my hand in and I just
push things, nudge things, press against the plastic of the PS4 in the hope
that at some point it’ll come on. I don’t know if my arm will get eaten but
you never know where the cat is going to be, it’s always pot luck in this
house.

I find tech from the past few years strange. I don’t know where the on and
off switch is on my PS4. I have to use a search engine to find out how to
do a lot of basic things with my phone and even now I know how to take a
screengrab, it seems kinda unreliable. Like, I’m pressing these buttons
down and maybe, just maybe it’ll do what I want it to if the stars are
aligned and everyone’s really quiet or something. I don’t understand what
most of the icons on most of the recent apps on my iPad actually do since
the past few years has seen flat minimalist design take a hold over
usability. I shudder every time I have to open the Windows 10 ‘Windows
10-y’ options screens on my computer because they’re caught somewhere
between ugly and unfathomable.

It seemed that for a few years we were designing tech to solve usability
problems, to make things clearer. And then here we are. A plastic slab
where I have to try and guess where the on button is and most of my tech
full of icons that have no real world equivalence I can draw from, lines,
arrows, hamburgers. It feels like everything is trying to become the sort
of opaque that we held Blender in special regard for and I don’t understand
it.

I’m not sure why we’re at the point where the sanctity of our designs takes
precedence over the ability to easily discover basic usability features but
fuck, I hope we get out of it soon.
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