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Next Gen User Interface Pet Peeves

We've had the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for roughly a month now, which has given us time to familiarize ourselves with the ins and outs of the two systems we will be spending way too much time with over the next several years. Like a family member you are intimately familiar with, it's hard not do develop some pet peeves with these systems. Here are 10 easily correctible things Sony and Microsoft could do to smooth out the platforms.

PlayStation 4

Streamline Friend Invites
Meeting new people and catching up with old friends is one of the best parts about modern gaming. Sony has largely righted the ship with regards to its approach to socializing on PS4, but we have one niggling complaint. It takes way too many button clicks to get to the actual friend invite after you've received one, and if you reject an invite it doesn't delete it. You need to click the options button and do it there. Both instances should be a one-click process.

Introduce Dashboard Customization
I'm sure many adore the flowing dashboard art and contemplative, ethereal soundscape that constantly plays in the background after you boot up the PS4. But after hearing this elevator music for the 100th time, I was ready to forgo sound altogether. You can turn off the music in the settings menu, but no options exist for changing your background. Personalization is a major part of user interfaces in everything from cell phones to remote controls, and we would love it if Sony allowed us to put our own personal stamp on the PS4 dashboard.

Let People Change Their PSN Names
Reiner once went by the Xbox Live name BeerJesus, but after the 7,000th flippant comment about the name in Call of Duty lobbies, he decided it was time to become The Artist Formerly Known As BeerJesus. Someone out there on PSN also regrets his or her off-the-cuff pick for a PlayStation identity. Do the right thing, Sony, and set them free.

Turn Off The Controller Glow
We get it – you can emblazon the DualShock 4 controller with different colors to match the on-screen activity. This is an interesting flair (kind of) when applied to games. You know when it absolutely sucks? When you're using Netflix or another app and the controller is sitting on your coffee table emitting an obnoxious glow. Please let us turn this off. Think of all the energy it would save!

Lose The Annoying Health And Safety Message
Quit acting like an overbearing mother and please remove that annoying message we're forced to read every time we boot our systems. Video games are a non-contact sport. We'll be fine.

Xbox One

Re-Surface The Friends List
The Xbox 360 was unrivaled in its approach to making socialization a destination. The Xbox One, on the other hand, must be embarrassed of your friends, because it does its best to hide them under a collection of menus. Please bring our friends back to the forefront where they belong.

Stop Automatically Recording Meaningless Gameplay
Giving gamers the ability to showcase cool video clips on a timeline is a great idea. But we're all less likely to check out these timelines if all the videos are meaningless clips of people clearing boards on Peggle or ranking up in Battlefield 4. These should be reserved for videos that people actually think are cool.

Give Us A Download Queue And Storage Management
Microsoft thinks it knows best when it comes to managing your storage. It's wrong. We would like to be able to prioritize which installed games stay and which ones go after we all inevitably run out of storage space given the minuscule hard drives the Xbox One ships with. While we're at it, could we please have a download queue that shows whether or not any progress is being made on a title update download? Thanks!

Let Netflix Use Its Superior User Interface
We get it, Microsoft. You think your Metro design is sleek, functional, and sexy. If you want to use it for your official apps, that's fine, but don't make Netflix conform to the same design parameters. It limits the amount of choices users have on screen while browsing films, and it looks worse than the Netflix offering on every other platform.

Fix The Parties
If we want to join a chat session while playing Battlefield 4 right now, we need to exit out of the game, accept the chat invite, turn party chat on, and then rejoin whatever game we were playing. Xbox parties, now with red tape! Also, you can't chat with someone who is playing a different game than you. Please go back to the old way of doing things, Xbox. It was much more efficient.

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