Posts tagged ‘UI’

August 21, 2010

Search The Google TV Interface

Image Source: From the newteevee website

Just got a glimpse of the upcoming Google TV interface with this article on newteevee. While Google TV is packed with features, it still feels a bit geeky. The UI doesn’t seem very rich…I expect this will be spruced up by the time they launch. My biggest concern however is how they are still pushing search as the primary means to navigate. At least that is how it appears when I see this demo.
Sitting 10 feet away, with a small remote control that doubles up as a keyboard may seem cool, but I am not so sure it is practical. The argument in favour of a keyboard is that people ‘text’ on their phones all the time so they should be comfortable with this. The fundamental difference is that when you text on the phone, you are also looking at the screen so you know what you are typing. However when you text on a TV screen, you have to look at the TV screen 10 feet away as well as keep an eye on the keyboard in your hand.
It’s not as if this can’t be done. It’s just that it is a very geeky. My mom would find this use case  extremely difficult. It might work with my 15 year old nephew though… we’ll know soon enough.
Moreover, I believe when you are in front of a TV screen you want it to be a predominantly lean back experience. Yes there are occasions like a football game when you might want to be more expressive and tweet/share your thoughts with your buddies…but most of the time you would like it to be relaxing. People are used to watching their TV with just a remote. While that paradigm might change going forward. It won’t happen overnight. So I still think a leanback experience will be the use case with more interactivity being added on over a period of time.

That being said…navigation on Google TV is not all search based. You do have drop down menus to navigate. However one can’t help but notice the underlying expectation that search will be the pivot for navigation.

Search is in Google’s DNA. So expecting anything else would be naive.

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