Unfortunately, the New Xbox Experience was installed onto my Xbox 360 console a few weeks ago so I cannot use the old dashboard. But fortunately, my roommate hasn’t used his console in a couple months and still has not downloaded the update. So I was still able to do my little observation. I took one of my other roommates, fakely-named Justin, and set him up with the dashboard. I asked him to explore a little, find a couple songs, videos, things in the marketplace, etc. This is particularly interesting because he does not play videogames. Ever. He things videogames are a waste of time and just rot people’s minds. The fact that he has never used the dashboard is why I chose him as a test subject.
Justin overall did not like the dashboard. He did not enjoy the experience, he had difficulty finding things, and he was confused throughout the whole process. However, I will argue that it does not reflect the quality of the dashboard itself. I argue that it is a direct reflection of the user. This user experienced frustration at every screen, on every blade, and just with everything because he did not know how to use it. He had trouble even using the controller to navigate. This user has trouble using a PC as well, so, it is only fitting that when I put an Xbox 360 controller into his hands that he did not adjust well.
Not everything about this observation was bad news. When he was frustrated, he was more frustrated at himself than with the dashboard or the controller. He actually thought the dashboard looked pleasing to the eye. He liked the colors, and he used them as representations of the blade. Instead of “media blade,” he referred to the place that has the music as “the blue one.” He liked how everything on the blades was organized by either a list a list or a box. He did not seem excited, but he did say that he liked it.
Overall, I would say this little obseration was a success. A completely brand-new user was introduced to the interface and “liked it.” Although he had difficulty navigating, it was more so because of the inexperience of the navigation tool–a controller in his hands. Little emotion was shown, but there was enough to significantly support the argument.