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Why is the Xbox One Dashboard experience so horrible?

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#1 DracIsBack OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Oct 5, 2018 9:56 AM

I wrote this as a status update, but I honestly think this is worth a thread.

I absolutely, positively, utterly hate the XBox One dashboard experience.  There are few things that give me more anxiety than turning on an XBox One and navigating the UI.


- So convoluted, unintuitive ... an absolutely atrocious design.


And worse, every time I turn it on, they've moved something else around and messed with it in some way. Or I've accidentally been signed out and suddenly have to go through their horrible password experience.



I'm one of those people who actually considers Microsoft bold when it comes to making UI choices. They aren't afraid to throw out existing designs in favour of something that will ultimately get to a more intuitive experience ultimately. Existing customers will balk because it isn't what they are used to, but then Microsoft will evolve the design to meet partway, consumers will get used to the experience and things fall into a natural flow that ultimately lands in a nice place.


But with the XBox One dashboard, do they have any clue of what they're fracken doing? It's like a giant pain in ass of a mess where I hate using it so much, I don't even want to play games on the system.


Anyone else find their dashboard experience detracts from wanting to use the system at all? 

it's like they've given the UX to monkeys to design!


#2 spacecadet OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Oct 5, 2018 11:20 AM

Yes, it's a mess, and I think it's that way intentionally, which makes it worse.
Their dashboards used to be pretty logical. But that probably kept people just doing the same things; they'd go straight to their games, or their apps, and never do anything else.
The purpose of the current UI seems to be to get you to click around more in confusion, which they probably hope has the effect of enticing people to buy more stuff from the store, or at least find functions that they didn't know about that keep them on the system longer. A lot of current UI design is like this. It's even got a name now: "Dark Pattern design".
I hate the Xbox UI and I avoid it as much as possible. I mainly use my Xbox as a media player so I stick to only what shows up in my "recent apps" and that's it. So on me, I guess the design is a failure because it actually discourages me from clicking anywhere else. But this kind of thing must work on some people or companies wouldn't do it. It's both annoying and kind of evil if you ask me, though.

Edited by spacecadet, Fri Oct 5, 2018 11:21 AM.

#3 digdugnate OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Oct 5, 2018 11:36 AM

i replied to your status update, but i'll go into more detail here.


the way the 'tiles' are laid out make no sense to me.  i also think the way you access achievements and settings isn't particularly intuitive and i'm all the time misclicking or going in the wrong spot because i can't tell where my 'cursor' is in relation to the tiles.  unfortunately, Horizon 4 seems to take some of these same design cues and it drives me crazy! lol


i also dislike how the UI manages the 'running applications', or if i hit the 'B' button to go back one too many times maybe it'll go to home screen, or maybe it'll go to the game i played two games ago.  


tabbing over to stuff is a pain, plus the way the XBox handles the store in their own UI is awful, lol.  one would think that if they wanted you to BUY something they'd make it easy for you to do on the console.


as you can tell, the rant was a long time coming from someone that has had an XBox One for a long time ;)

#4 Gemintronic OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Oct 5, 2018 11:50 AM

M$ has been moving towards a Windows that you rent with restrictions like a cellphone.  Windows RT is a good example.


They wanted to soften us up with the Windows Store and cellphone-esque tiles by flogging the interface on console gamers.  Given enough exposure people start to think it's normal.

#5 DracIsBack OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Oct 5, 2018 12:27 PM

It's scary how abnormal and how off the wall the interface is.


I genuinely hate using the XBox One because of the dashboard experience. And they keep mucking with it. 

They certainly aren't alone in dumbass design dashboards in history. I thought the Wii U experience as almost as bad but Nintendo made the Switch experience a shitload cleaner and nicer to use from that at least. 

#6 Video OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2018 3:23 AM

The ui is horrible and always has been. Just to cluttered and haphazardly slopped around rather than designed with some sort of sense to it.

The last Xbox ui I liked was the 360 blade one, but even the current 360 ui is far superior to the Xbox one ui.

And no, I sure as hell don't spend more time on it or buy stuff because of it, that's just garbage stupid people come up with for persistent poor design existing.

#7 PlaysWithWolves OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat Oct 6, 2018 4:31 AM

I don't like the UI, but I pin the programs I may use, so it doesn't affect me very much. Apps&games aren't to hard to find.   But I know I've spent a lot of time trying to find some things that should've been more intuitive. 

#8 PFG 9000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 7, 2018 5:34 PM

Here I thought I was the only one. I rarely use my Xbox One compared to my PS4, so I've never really learned the ins & outs of the UI. It's stupidly hard to find anything on there, even the games.

#9 Austin OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun Oct 7, 2018 11:16 PM

I do think the GUI could be less cluttered overall, but for the most part I have adapted to it. I have pinned my most-used apps to the home screen and so they always show up there when I scroll down. The games and apps shortcut is always defaulted to the main home screen as well and it's one click to everything you have installed (or not installed) on your system, with an easy download management system.

Funny enough, despite its more simplistic design, I find myself having more issues with the PS4 dashboard. However, I'm still new to that platform and I'm sure I'll adjust over time.

#10 Flojomojo OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2018 5:45 AM

I only really use the Games & Apps tile, so it's odd to me that it's the relative size of a postage stamp. "Pinning" frequently used tiles is straight out of Windows 8/10.

#11 NE146 OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2018 6:08 AM

I'll say one thing.. if someone can tell me how to reliably launch the friggin inserted disc I'd be grateful. :lol:   Lots of times the only way I can get a "tile" for it to show is to eject and re-insert the darn thing. 

#12 Flojomojo OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2018 8:33 AM

I inserted a disc into my xbone once. It wasn't as great as you guys say it is.

#13 moycon OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2018 8:54 AM

Bring back the blade dashboard!!!! 

#14 DJ Clae OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2018 3:19 PM

I don't have any problem with the current incarnation. I'm used to it. The PS4 dash gives me more anxiety at this point. Probably because I have less experience with it.

#15 MrMaddog OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Oct 8, 2018 10:50 PM

Everytime they change the UI I keep praying they still keep the "My Games & Apps" on the Home Screen...

#16 travistouchdown OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:48 AM

Yeah it's not great but neither is the PS4...the PS4 is maybe a little more linear and thus a little more navigable.  The Xbone UI is like an MC Escher drawing.   Still, i've figured my way around it and can get it to do what I want it to most of the time.


It's hard to believe they have a room full of engineers working on this and this interface is the best thing they could come up with after 5 years...lol

#17 Major Havoc 2049 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:32 AM

Bring back the blade dashboard!!!! 


Quoted for truthfulness!! 

#18 moycon OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:54 AM

So apparently MS found it necessary to update avatars, has anyone else got the message that you can now get SUPER DUPER AVATARS? LOL 

The avatars originally showing up were a sign of the beginning of the end for the Xbox dashboard.  That's when they got rid of the clean blades dash and stuck everyone with their Mii knockoffs.

I honestly didn't mind it too much at first after getting used to it. It was kind of OK to see all your friends lined up and you could see who was online and active very easily. Plus you could customize the hell out of the avatars, with cool or obscure items, some of which could only be unlocked via achievements. (At one time I had the Atari Adventure dragon following me around.)


Over time though it seemed like MS was pushing avatars to the background, on the Xbox Box One you barely saw them. Where as on the Xbox you saw your friends avatars lined up with whatever customization they had done and whatever "props" they had set up, later on the One you had to actually click on the avatar to see the props. So if you did happen to want a cool prop, the chances of anyone seeing it seemed pretty slim. Looking now I don't even see how you can get to the avatars line up anymore so I guess at some point they did away with it. That said, if they are barely used I wonder why they decided to update at all? Are they going to bring them back and make them more pertinent or something?  Having switched to a new avatar the first thing I noticed was your purchased outfits and props do not follow over so I just switched right back. I'm not giving up my classic Tron suit and Adventure dragon!!

#19 digdugnate OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:23 AM

no idea, but, my wife took one look at the avatars then was reading about em online and then was like 'noooooope'. lol.  i guess these new avatars don't have nearly as many options for change/etc.


I have a non-avatar userpic on my account and it suits me just fine :) 

#20 moycon OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:01 PM

i guess these new avatars don't have nearly as many options for change/etc.


Yes, at least right now, none of your avatar purchases or awards carry over. 

There is a handful of free stuff you can customize the new ones with, and even some you can purchase, but it's pretty basic, no props or anything like that. I suspect they will be coming eventually, but my question is why? They were barely supporting the avatars towards the end. Have the fans been demanding more avatar attention? Are they planning on making avatars part of the Xbox experience again? 

#21 Flojomojo OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:05 PM

Maybe it's a jobs program for the remaining RARE staff they bought away from Nintendo. They don't seem to be making games, and Kinect is dead. 

#22 omegadot OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:40 PM

Most everywhere I go in UI I got top to bottom and / or left to right.  On the XBone it feels like I'm in the middle and have to guess how to rotate my Rubik's cube to get what I want.  And last I recall I'm not immediately displayed with what I likely want. A game. 


Both PS4 and Switch seem to do this just fine.  My favorite being the Switch, right up until I launch the store.  Then it kinda falls to pieces. 

Edited by omegadot, Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:41 PM.

#23 Eltigro ONLINE  


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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2018 4:45 PM

It seems that a lot of Microsoft UI lately is geared toward touch screen or *shudder* the Kinect.  I think this means big blocks that can be easily pressed instead of smaller icons or lists which might be easier to navigate with mouse or controller.  I think this has contributed to the jumbled interface and confusing layout.  I have a computer with Windows 10 and its UI gives me fits sometimes.  I need to look into seeing if there's a way to change it to look like 2000 or XP or NT or just about anything else...

#24 ProAtari OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2018 1:03 AM

I agree that the Xbox One dash is daunting. I think there is just too much going on and too many things you can choose lead to the same or very similar areas and they aren't super cohesive. I feel like they could do a lot better and am not sure why they aren't, but I guess it could be intentional like someone else had mentioned. PS4, much easier to grasp IMO.

#25 Metal Jesus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 8, 2018 10:06 AM

I had to watch a YouTube video just to figure out how to RESTART the console. Ridiculous. Such a mess.

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