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Stupid Usability #60

Renting Movies from the Couch

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 7/14/2014

From the mind of Terri Ebert, Graphic Designer at High Monkey:

Direct TV recently changed the way their customers can rent movies off their televisions. Before the switch, the customer would enter the guide, select an available movie, go through the buying process, and then watch the movie.
It’s not so simple any more. First of all, the movies moved where they’re located in the guide. They’re now far away from regular channels. Once you find a movie you’d like to watch, the process to buy is not as simple as it used to be.

When you select your movie, it takes you to a screen that prompts you to “Record to DVR.” Depending on your internet connection, recording could take a while. But, here’s the thing, why would a customer want to record. In a normal situation, I’d imagine they’d want to watch - immediately – not sometime later, after downloading.

According to the first image, you could text in to order a movie via your mobile phone. But why? Why would I want to order over my cell phone when I’m watching from my TV? Another option for renting movies is doing it online. But again, when I plan to watch on my TV, why would I rent a movie anywhere else but my TV?
One more thing about these movies. The list below what you can see in the first image are more movies you can rent. But there’s another catch. You have to start the movie when Direct TV wants you to start it. They work much like regular TV shows, in that they’re on a set schedule. I don’t know about you, but that’s not the way I’d want to rent movies from my own couch.
Here are some suggestions for you, DirectTV. First of all, if you’re going to change the way you do things, please make it 100% clear what the changes are and help your customers go through the new process without getting frustrated. I would suggest a nice step-by-step diagram, but even that wouldn’t be user friendly. Secondly, there is a definite advantage to allowing your customers to rent via mobile and computer. But, if a customer wants to rent and then watch a movie on their actual TV, it should be an easy process that one can go through right from the remote.

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More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 7/14/2014 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments