Drew Rattray : Design vs. Functionality
Drew Rattray
| News and views on design vs. functionality balance across the communications and technology space.

Microsoft

Netflix on Xbox 360 Frustrating

December 20, 2008

I haven't had much time until yesterday to actually play with some of the new features of the improved Xbox 360 interface that was released a few weeks ago.  One of these improvements is the ability to now stream Netflix movies right to your console for your viewing pleasure (once you have an account of course).  Seeing as I'm on vacation, I figured it would be a decent time to check out the two week free trial.

So...  I log into my Xbox 360 and search for the Netflix area.  I click through a few menu options and supply my email address and password, and then end up on a screen that tells me to "go to netflix.com/xbox to create my account".   So now I have to get up off the couch, stroll over to the computer and punch in a url.  I do so and go through the regular hoops of setting up one of these trial accounts, including choosing a service that I can cancel anytime over the next 2 weeks for no charge (of course), and giving them a credit card number.

But now... it sends me back to the Xbox.  I go back to the couch, ready to watch a movie, press a few buttons and then my Xbox gives me an activation code and tells me to go to netflix.com/activate to activate my streaming account. Again I get up and go back to the computer, plug in the code, and boom, I'm ready to watch movies on my Xbox, Right?

Wrong.

Maybe I was a little too eager, or maybe the frustration was already kicking in and I had ignored a direction somewhere, but I went back to the couch assuming I could browse through lists of movies on my Xbox, hit a button, and spend the next few hours watching something I wouldn't cough up 11 dollars for at the theaters a few months ago. What greeted me at the couch was nothing.







Bing Isn't Too Friendly to Other Search Engines

June 16, 2009

I found an interesting feature of Bing this afternoon.

First, go to Google and do a search for Bing.  My search found about 47,800,000 results and displayed the first 10.  Now do a search for Yahoo!.  This search turned up about 2,460,000,000 results for me. 

IE6 Needs to Go

August 11, 2009

I seriously dislike Microsoft products for the most part.  Especially their browser.  As a web designer, Internet Explorer has been a thorn in my side for the better part of a decade.  But, as sad as it is, the world needs Microsoft.  What we no longer need is IE6.

If you've read any of this blog, you know that I am a big proponent of using the next best thing.  Moving forward with technology, ideas, solutions, and standards.  Right now, supporting IE6 specifically is the biggest hurdle I have to overcome on a daily basis.  It's old technology that doesn't support current web standards, yet 15-20% of web users still use it as their primary browser.

No one wants to build a site that doesn't work properly for 1/5 of their target audience, but the time and money wasted on building a site that holds up in today's markets and is IE6 compatible is ridiculous.  It's 2009!  Designers and programmers should not have their creativity and ingenuity handcuffed because people still choose to use a browser that doesn't support advanced CSS or XHTML.  The research, the hacks, the workarounds, the extra lines of code, the extra processes that slow the site down... they aren't worth the money spent by companies and developers. Especially when their user base can upgrade their IE browser for free.  Yeah that's right, it's FREE.

Afraid of upgrading your IE browser? Upgrading your OS to Vista left a bad Microsoft taste in your mouth?  I don't blame you.  OK, here's another solution then.