The PS3 and PSP Interface
i wrote up an interesting (to ui geeks) glob over on the joystiq forums about this ps3 video that’s making the rounds today.
now, on to why the menu for the ps3 and the psp is bad ui design.
usability studies have shown that people “search and select” when it comes to navigating interfaces. they evaluate their choices and then select the option that seems to meet the requirement of getting closer to meeting their goal.
the ui for the 360 dashboard has many (relatively) tightly descriptive options for each navigation choice. you are never lost. it is a conscious decision as to where to go next. the consistent labels help to make it clear as to where you are going next. is it perfect? no, of course not. parts of it still make me cringe, but there is always room for improvement.
the psp and ps3 however, make the mistake of form over function. i’m not exactly sure who they’ve got designing their ui, but jakob nielsen would have a heyday were he in the console business.
off the top of my head:
1) there are no descriptive labels until you start navigating. this breaks the “search and select” mentality.
2) to make it worse, once you stop, they go away and you are left with no labels at all — again.
3) the icons are too similar in size, color and placement to each other. this makes it easy to lose your place.
4) important text labels are partly obscured by other parts of the ui — to facilitate the nice, “boxes and arrows” type of design, of course.
yeah. i’m a ui geek. meh. whatcha gonna do?