A Message to Microsoft’s Xbox Division

Dear Phil Spencer,

Get your sh*t together. Specifically, by terminating all UI designers working on the Xbox One. Even more specifically, fire whoever is responsible for updating overhauling the dashboard every few months.


Because I am incredibly f*cking tired of glazing over tutorials every time I want to use the damn thing. How often do you really need to reinvent your product? Just when I feel like I’ve become competent enough to navigate my dashboard, you switch what the Xbox button does—or move the notifications menu—or revise the in-game overlay while simultaneously changing all my icons (and even removing some too).

As for the latest update, why are my pins literally as small as pins? Why the hell did my font sizes change so drastically? Also, why are you pushing Mixer so hard? Twitch is clearly a superior service.

Maybe it seems logical to you to revamp your product all the time. Maybe there are actual performance boosts gained from these updates (though I certainly haven’t noticed any). Maybe it’s because you want to keep things “fresh.” Either way, the rate at which you scramble your UI is, relatively speaking, astronomical.

My point is simple:

Nothing can be intuitive when it is changed too often.

I’m not alone either. My message continues to resonate with a growing number of us.

In fact, this trend is so irritating that I have seriously considered switching permanently to the PS4. Their interface—to me—is so much simpler. Oh yeah—and there’s also Horizon: Zero Dawn, and my personal favorite, Killzone Shadow Fall (quick shout out to Lorn! <3). Personally, they’re among the best looking and most immersive games I’ve ever played. Time to step up your exclusive titles, Microsoft.

Is it any wonder why hardware revenue dropped 29 percent in Q4? Console sales are slumping, and I have a hunch that your incessant drive to alter the UI may have something to do with this.

One last note—back in the day, the Xbox 360 “blade” interface just… worked, for most of us. It was simple, consistent, and labeled. Icon-only menus may be confusing, especially when an icon changes, or a new and unfamiliar one is introduced. Imagine how fucked over I feel when I don’t even know where to look for things anymore.

Stop this nonsense.


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About the Author
Randy Savage enthusiast, student, film score producer, and one half of Chris & Chris.

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