Oct. 24th, 2015

cislyn: (smiting)
Imagine, Manager Mike and Programmer Pauline, sitting down to a meeting before the BluRay player's UI is finished.

M: So, this thing is going to be able to play all kinds of stuff, right? Not just discs. Because the kids like that these days.

P: Oh yes. Don't worry. There will be lots of apps you can add to the home screen.

M: Ok, so tell me how that'll work. I've added one of these apps and want to use it. What's the experience like?

P: Well, let's say you have a Pandora account, and want to listen to some music through your nice home theater speakers.

M: Sounds good.

P: Indeed. So, you navigate to the Pandora button on the home screen, and select it with the remote.

M: And then it starts playing my music?

P: No. Then it displays a black screen with white lettering that says "checking internet connection"

M: Ah. Ok. Ok. I get it. And after it's checked the internet connection, it plays music?

P: No, then it dumps you back on the home screen.

M: Right, right. Of course.

P: So then you navigate to the Pandora button again, and select it with the remote.

M: And now we're good to go with the music and the playing of it, right?

P: Wrong. Now it displays a black screen with white lettering and the message "Acquiring Internet Content"

M: Is that it?

P: Yeah. That's all we print up there.

M: Mmmm, that'll never do. Let's give them something else to look at. I know! How many steps is this internet content acquisition stage?

P: Um... let's say three.

M: This is what you'll put on the screen: one slash three, two slash three, three slash three... that kind of thing. Nothing like some fractions to really make users happy, right?

P: If you say so. We could add a progress bar, too.

M: No, no. We don't want to give them too much. Oh! How about a FAKE progress bar? You know, one of those simple lines with a dot that moves back and forth on it but doesn't really indicate anything?

P: No problem, boss.

M: So how long does this process take, on average?

P: Could be anywhere up to five minutes, depending.

M: Hmm. Ok, so you're at this 'acquiring internet content' screen for a few minutes. It acquires the content. Now there's jammin' tunes, right?

P: Nope. After it finishes, it displays a big white button labeled "continue" for the user to press.

M: Hmm. Ok.

P: And after that there are tunes. What do you think?

M: What happens if the user wanders away during the process and comes back, say ten minutes later, having made a cup of tea?

P: Oh, it times out and dumps them back at the home screen.

M: So, you basically have to have the remote in your hand the entire time, press buttons multiple times for no purpose, and be paying attention to a black screen with minimal content or information the entire time lest you miss your window of opportunity and have to start all over again?

P: Uh... yeah. Yeah, we do that. We could, um...

M: SOUNDS GREAT. Ship it! We are going to make SO MUCH MONEY! Who wouldn't want to fondle our tiny little remote all that time?! Mwahahahaha!

P: That's what I thought! Awesome!

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Cislyn

December 2016

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