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Stupid Usability #120

Xbox One Kinect - Xbox Volume Up

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 10/19/2015

From the mind of Brian Haukos, Marketing & Project Support at High Monkey:

So with this stupid usability tip we are going to be taking a look at a Microsoft product by the name of Xbox One. Although I must say from the beginning this product has had multiple issues the one issue I am going to be showing you today has to deal directly with the Kinect that came with my system bundle.

I purchased the bundle with Kinect included because I had previously owned a Kinect for my Xbox 360 and to be honest I thought it was pretty cool!  Although Kinect adds a layer to your Xbox allowing you to play more virtual reality like games, where the Kinect camera captures your movements and allows you to control a player on the screen with your actual body movements. Kinect also adds a layer to your Xbox to use voice commands vs having to use any sort of controller or remote.

Although this feature seems to work fairly well when turning the Xbox on and off, there are somethings that could probably work a bit better. My set up at home includes a surround sound receiver in which I was able to program my Xbox to control the volume of by simply saying “Xbox volume up, or Xbox volume down.” See the below image:

Pretty slick right? Well not exactly, when saying either of the two volume controls the Xbox by default, sends a signal to the surround sound receiver which either turns the volume up or down by only 3 units depending on the command.  Although you may not think this is much of an issue, where this becomes a larger more apparent issue is when you are trying to turn the volume up when it is set at a much lower number than usual. This is an issue because you could be stuck saying “Xbox Volume Up” 6 – 7 times and sometimes the Xbox has issues hearing you so it takes even longer than it should.

Not saying that I can’t just as easily turn the volume up with the remote or walk up to the surround sound and physically turn the volume up, but this kind of defeats the purpose of the cool feature of not needing a remote.

A simple suggestion would be to maybe allow users to say volume up and say a specific number so the Xbox would send a signal to the surround sound and bring the volume up to the level you requested. In my opinion this would save users time and a lot of frustration.

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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: 10/19/2015 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments