Terrible Interface on Contour 2
While the features of Contour 2 system are a great improvement the user interface is terrible. It is like a combination of Windows 8 and Netflix. That's bad.
When designing "web" sites or apps, looking at the user interface, one measurement of quality is how many or how few clicks it takes for the user to get where they want to go. Our company does considerable research with real users and invests the time and money required to bring the clicks required to as few as possible. That is one of the reasons why our app is award winning and being purchased.
On this new Contour system and remote there are almost zero user functions that happen with one click. And even the most basic ones require several. For example to record a program that you are watching requires something like 7 or more clicks. How is that possible? If you want closed captioning on or off, it requires at least 4 clicks. That is nuts.
Then there are the myriad of other very poorly thought out interface issues. To select a channel as a "favorite" requires 4 or 5 clicks once in the "guide" and after selecting how you want to view the guide. Once you have worked through a couple hundred multi click operations to select your favorites you can finally view the guide listing only your favorites. However, if you want to surf those same channels there is currently no way to do so that I am aware of. It seems that the surfing forces you to go through all available channels which takes forever. I could be wrong about this one, but if it is true then clearly no user feedback was gathered.
Unfortunately, many people don't complain because if you use Netflix you are used to terrible interfaces. It scrambles your selections, doesn't remind you of items you haven't finished watching, you can't organize your list into "stuff for the kids", "date night", "action", etc. It is just a mess of titles and they helpfully rearrange it for you each time to leave the site and come back.
Cox can say what they will, but it is obvious that the graphic designers had more to do with the functionality than actual user groups. It is SO easy to get useful feedback from beta groups and it makes the product 100 times more enjoyable to use. Spend the money Cox and either create your own interface or force your supplier to create a better one. Oh, and while I was looking for a better option it seems that this mess comes by way of the cable box manufacturer. Many of the user interfaces are the same format from different TV providers. Cox could increase retention by a measurable percentage by simply making the user interface easy to use and keep the click count super low. One time investment to keep more customers? That has never been discussed by the higher ups?