Study Says Wii and PS3 Score Low On "User Friendliness"

A Japanese technology website, called Techon, did a research study to see how user friendly the PS3 and Wii were to new users of the machines. The study was done at U’eyes Design, a firm that centers upon the evaluation, design, and effectiveness regarding user interfaces in products.

In the informal study, it was learned that test subjects had difficulty trying to get both game machines to work. In the case of the Wii, individuals were confused with how to install the Wii components like the sensor bar, which monitors the location and position of the Wiimote. According to the report:

"A subject, who did not know where to set the Wii’s ‘sensor bar,’ noticed the setting location was wrong… When the Wii turned on, a message to choose the sensor bar’s location was shown on the screen. When seeing this display, he did not know what the ‘sensor bar’ was. After thinking for a while and holding the Wii Remote in his hand, he picked up the sensor bar and saw that it was marked ‘SENSOR BAR.’ He finally understood what the sensor bar was and adjusted its location."

The PS3 faired no better, as users of the machine had extreme difficulty in figuring out how to perform simple tasks such as turning off the machine or quitting out of a game. Subjects searched vainly for a "quit" or "exit" icon on game screens but could not find them to exit the programs. The users also failed to find a way to turn off the PS3 from the menu system of the console’s main screen.

Other problems incurred by the users spanned from a range of putting in game discs upside down to not being able to correctly use game controller functions.

The study showed that while there was difficulty in using the PS3 and Wii game consoles, all of the problems associated with the test subjects could have easily been remedied by reading the user’s manual. The test was conducted without the use of the written documentation for the users in order to gauge how user friendly the machines were right out of the box.

The study concluded that easier setup procedures of the machines would help consumers enjoy a more positive experience in gaming. "However, from our monitoring of the test subjects, there is no doubt that such hurdles degrade one’s impression of the product or cast a damper on your enjoyment of a game. Reducing such operational ‘hurdles’ will make the products more attractive. We believe these problems can be solved with relatively simple technical corrections."

Or users could do something else to make their experience more positive–read the manual first.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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