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Il faudra qu’on m’explique… !

Publié le 3 Septembre 2013 par Mme Michu

Il faudra qu’on m’explique… !

Qui n’a jamais entendu parler de l’importance de « l’interface Homme Machine », un sujet si souvent développé dans de multiples conférences et séminaires, et très « à la mode » dans les discours commerciaux. Cependant si l’on fait fi des prouesses techniques développées par les ingénieurs, développeurs, designers, intégrateurs… pour proposer des services, soit disant les plus simples possibles, pour « favoriser l’expérience utilisateur », j’aimerai bien qu’on m’explique pourquoi la flèche « bas » du pavé directionnel de la télécommande de ma nouvelle Box Evolution de SFR, me permet de remonter le numéro des chaines, alors que la flèche « haut » me permet d’accéder à la chaine précédente… ? Dommage, car il est plutôt bien cette nouvelle interface de SFR !

Commenter cet article

Natalie Lehoux 03/09/2013 20:23

I couldn't agree more with you about the importance of HCI. You have posted a very interesting question that is not so simple to answer.

Channel List Design
To begin it is important to say that the Channel List is ordered from 1 - 80+. The channel list is read vertically on a screen, that is from top to bottom. Following this logic the lowest number of the channel is at the top of the channel list and the highest number is at the bottom. This is also the case for digital address books that use the alphabet, rather than numbers, where A is at the top of the contacts list and Z is at the bottom.

Perspective 1
When I press UP on the remote control unit (RCU) the list of channels should go up in number. When I press DOWN on the RCU the list of channels should go down in number. This spacial relationship is captured by a primary metaphor that tells up UP is MORE/LESS is DOWN (http://theliterarylink.com/metaphors.html). However, the channels in the channel list are not ordered from 80 - 1. The line up on a screen would look quite strange if that was the case. As a result you have the effect you described in your post that UP is LESS/MORE is DOWN.

Perspective 2
If I were to use a touch screen device like a tablet or smartphone rather than a TV with a RCU the swipe action would work very well. For example, you would swipe upwards on a tablet, the interface would animate up and the channel numbers would increase (because in reality we are moving down the Channel to the higher numbers) so that UP is MORE. Swiping downwards on the touch screen would cause the interface to down and the the channel numbers would decrease (because the Channel list is moving up to the lower numbers) so that LESS is DOWN. Only if you pick up the RCU it doesn't make sense.

Final Outcome
While it may feel uncomfortable to browse the channel list with the RCU it will make much more sense if you used a touch screen device. Either way the important consideration is that you can still navigate the Channel List even if one way feels less comfortable. If we were to present the Channel List with numbers ordered from 80+ -1 in the user interface (UI) your question would be quite different. After looking at all the possibilities, the logical order of numbers (1-80+) in the Channel List makes sense from a UI perspective. If you consider that touch-based devices will be the future of interaction then the interaction works very well. Due to the differences in GUI (TV & RCU) and TUI devices (smartphones and tablets) the decisions made for the SFR evolution box are relevant and up-to-date with emerging technologies.