Cable has the right idea in how it presents its products to the end user, according to the president of a user experience design firm who believes, "people want the same media experience they've always had. Not everybody wants the latest whizzy, super complicated set of features and functions."
Speaking at GigOM's NewTeeVee Live conference, Peter Merholz, president of user experience design firm Adaptive Path made it clear that there's a fine balance between presenting a simple approach to getting content and actually making it simple enough for the consumer.
"You can have something that's simple, but has a lot of friction," he said. Things like poor battery life and unreliable wireless connectivity are technical friction that negatively impact the user experience no matter how simple that has been made. Finding things to watch with a complex user interface or having to sign up for pay-per-view, he said, are experiential friction. A service that requires consumers to buy "every time they want to watch an episode" is not a "long-term winner," he said.
Merholz likes the Netflix model because it's "frictionless" but when it comes to the best way of doing it, he's especially enamored with cable "because it has the least friction of all these video experiences."
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