Sunday, June 6, 2021

ui hall of shame: HBO Max on Samsung TVs

Daring Fireball linked to an article HBO Max tvOS Update Breaks Several Key Features, Degrading Experience Significantly. One thing I've noticed is that the HBO Max app on my Samsung TV has been weirdly, uniquely bad... mostly because on every other app, the play/pause button pauses. On HBO Max it brings up a tutorial page for a random command Samsung's Bixby voice command features:

For unfathomable reasons, the inner button on the circle control, which means "OK" or "Select" everywhere else, is what is used for pausing. The overall effect is as if HBO let a Junior Dev release a half baked experiment with Samsung's API out without any user testing. 

(FWIW, I think the UI on the Samsung TV is pretty decent... light years ahead of the older Samsung my folks have. I'm told that Smart TVs are so cheap in part because they are subsidized by selling viewing information to advertisers. I'm actually ok with that bargain, to be honest - I guess I run a little insensitive on privacy issues as long as it's treating me as J Random Viewer and not someone specific.)

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