Would a more traditional EPG be better?

So here are a couple of EPG images...

The one on the left is from a Manhattan Freesat box, and the one on the right is the latest youview revision for retail boxes.

1. Their colour schemes are almost the same!
2. Both have 6 rows of programme listings...
3. Both feature a vertical timeline...
4. Both show the time, and company logos...
5. Both have a date bar, and options to filter by programme type, such as HD only...

But the Freesat EPG has a nice clear programme synopsis that doesn't cover the guide. It also has the much requested mini-TV box...

So has youvew lost it's way by focusing on form over function? 


Comments

  • Davey23Davey23 Member Posts: 57
    If i remember rightly, the left pic is basically exactly how it used to be till some bright spark decided to change everything.
    I am convinced all the changes came to try and match the likes of sky and netflix.
    It must be two years since all this started and they still haven`t brought back the basics.

  • John LJohn L Member, Super User Posts: 885 ✭✭
    I like your idea highdevtvfan. This is what it should be like! It all looks logical & organised, easy to read & no distractions. The only thing I can think of is the -/+24 hours showing red/yellow buttons (like in the good old days on Humax 8000/9200 etc). I personally like the colour buttons, but a lot of consumers may have got used to fast fwd/rwd as the buttons to use. 10/10 for the design. Youview design & research team, if you are watching, maybe this could be considered? John L
    Can't wait for the day when Youview get rid of the dreaded darkened banner when using fast forward/rewind recordings. 
  • stereohavenstereohaven Member Posts: 65
    I've always liked the Freesat EPG and UI. Unfortunately the lack of some key free to air HD channels (well, the Channel 4 stable), makes it a non-starter in this house. 
  • redchizredchiz Member, Super User Posts: 5,416 ✭✭✭
    I have a Freesat box and my EPG looks nothing like that. Do they not vary from manufacturer to manufacturer?
  • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
    edited 17 October 2018, 1:06PM
    Implementation and look and feel of the Freesat EPG is down to the box provider.

    I chose to compare the EPG from the Manhattan SX Freesat box to the latest youview Retail EPG because of their similar colour schemes and features, also, I thought the Manattan SX EPG represented what many users on these forums would like to see implemented in youview.

    There are many ways an EPG could be implemented, SKY Q for example... so I am not suggesting this is the right direction, but the closest to what I believe users want.

    Given that some users clearly are not happy with how the youview EPG is evolving, and given that many users are also unhappy that certain features have never been reinstated, I would have hoped that youview would be offering some transparency around the whole process by carryout a series of surveys on these very forums in order to gain true insight into how users give priority to features and what type of experience they want within the EPG...

    I know Sarah said that they do pass all user comments and feedback onto the youview product teams, but as one user pointed out, it doesn't feel like it makes any difference.

    My last personal point on this... right now, I think youview are in danger of making the fundamental business mistake of ignoring their customers, this happens more frequently in business then people realise. I had assumed that the recent decision to stop sharing a common youview feature set between BT, TalkTalk, and Retail boxes was because each wanted to go in a different direction, if that is the case, then youview should hopefully now be able to direct the look and feel for EPG on the Retail box...
  • TomWTomW Member Posts: 508 ✭✭

    I really like the Freesat EPG shown in the OP. I’ve never been a huge fan of the YouView EPG, old gen or new gen, although if I had to choose it would undoubtedly be old gen. My biggest bugbear with the YouView EPG is and always has been the fact that the programme synopsis isn’t exposed in the guide. The removal of the mini TV in new gen just added to my general dissatisfaction. Then there are the filters which I never use and which I think are rather pointless but take up a lot of screen real estate.


    All that being said I do prefer the day and time bars on the YouView EPG. I also think that the YouView EPG has a more contemporary feel and consistent design language compared with the Freesat example, albeit the YouView EPG looks like it was designed by corporate suits to sell boxes rather than to improve usability. There’s a lot of form over function in the YouView EPG, in my opinion. If I have to choose between greater information density and improved aesthetics I’ll always choose the former but I really shouldn’t have to choose as the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,460 ✭✭✭
    edited 18 October 2018, 3:52AM
    @highdeftvfan

    You do have to remember that ‘we’ aren’t YouView’s core customers, but a picky lot who want our boxes just so  :p

    And we are not even the people who arrived to make (literally) thousands of posts bemoaning the imposition of NextGen on YouView users; from which you might take away the message that YouView doesn’t listen to its customers; except that YouView were getting all sorts of metrics - satisfaction ratings up, support demands down, and so on - from the introduction of NextGen onwards, that said different.

    (Quite where these metrics were coming from, and why they were so diametrically opposite to the views of the people who had never been in the Community before, but arrived to make their negative reactions to NextGen known, is a circle I have never been able to square; but it certainly never got the traction that Virgin customers got when complaining about UKTV being pulled. About which @redchiz had a pithy comment, I thought).

    But if you want to know if YouView listens, then the best resource to look at is @Keith’s lists here. Where you can see pretty much everything that was ever asked for on here, with the actions, if any, subsequently taken by YouView as a result of that feedback.


    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
    edited 18 October 2018, 10:20AM
    I think youview next gen is great... I have always believed that it was the right direction.

    However, where I think they have got it wrong is constant modification of the user experience, which as a user, I have no control over, yes, some of the changes I may like, but what about the ones I don't like? They are being forced on me, after purchase...

    Look at SKY, imagine if they had done the same as youview, imagine they had just updated their SKY HD boxes to the new SKY Q software... there would have been an outcry... but they didn't, it was a NEW hardware platform, users had a choice, stay with SKY HD or buy into the new hardware and SKY Q software... I think that's point, it's being enforced... we have no choice, the old UI was removed and the new one enforced, and those of us on BT contacts can't leave until the end of our contracts...
  • RoyRoy Member, Super User Posts: 17,460 ✭✭✭
    edited 18 October 2018, 12:51PM
    @highdeftvfan

    I think you will find that a sufficiently negative reaction to NextGen was enough to get more than a few BT TV users released from their contracts.

    But as you say, you like it, and think it’s the way to go.

    What YouView should have done, I think, was to reimplement OldGen, as far as was feasible, in NextGen technology, and only then move on to the new look, as an optional alternate skin.

    But YouView don’t really do optional, and seem to have quite enough trouble getting anything new to work at all, without having to provide the means to turn it off as well. And then to think about all the implications of the way any particular user’s battery of option switches is set, and how these might impinge on anything new YouView do manage to provide.

    With YouView, you are on a roller-coaster ride; and with no option to say ‘OK, but skip the corkscrew and the tunnel bits’  :p
    ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ Wm Morris
  • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
    For all it's faults, is there a better TV interface then youview right now?

    Personally... I would say no..

    Freeview Play is promising, however, its implementation is an open standard, so TV and set top box manufactures can implement the interface in different ways... some are better than offers, you are not guaranteed a constant user experience across all devices, however, I feel that over time, this will settle down and improve, so it's one to watch...

    SKY Q, there is something about SKY Q that I just don't like, but can't put my finger on... I know they have also gone through their own "settling down period" and made many tweaks to smooth out early issues...

    Virgin Media, the new V6 box has transformed the experience, so it is now fast to use, and menus respond quickly to remote button presses... however, the interface has remained the same for years, and is starting to look dated, in my opinion at least...

    SKY HD+ Loved it!!!!!!!! But it's not the future, while existing SKY HD+ users can still use it, SKY do not offer it any longer to new users, it's SKY Q or nothing now...

     
  • jimbjimb Member, Super User Posts: 1,407 ✭✭✭
    TomW said:

    ...My biggest bugbear with the YouView EPG is and always has been the fact that the programme synopsis isn’t exposed in the guide. The removal of the mini TV in new gen just added to my general dissatisfaction. Then there are the filters which I never use and which I think are rather pointless but take up a lot of screen real estate.

    ...the YouView EPG looks like it was designed by corporate suits to sell boxes rather than to improve usability. There’s a lot of form over function in the YouView EPG, in my opinion. If I have to choose between greater information density and improved aesthetics I’ll always choose the former but I really shouldn’t have to choose as the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    @TomW these are such good comments, you have now idea how much I agree with you.
    Especially the filters taking up a lot of screen real estate. I would just love to see YouView's data on how many people actually ever use the filters.

    And I also think YouView's preference for "form over function" has always been a problem.
    The EPG is now beautifully symmetrical - I think it would break their hearts to put a mini TV in the top right hand corner.  :D 

    And when the BBC extended on demand availability from 7 days to 30 days (and others followed) surely the EPG should have been extended to go four weeks back?
    But that would also have upset the simple elegance of one-week-forward-one-week-back  :'(
  • TomWTomW Member Posts: 508 ✭✭
    For all it's faults, is there a better TV interface then youview right now?

    Personally... I would say no..
    Is there a better interface? Good question. I haven’t used Sky, Virgin or Freeview Play. But having looked at screenshots and videos I have misgivings about all of them. Overall I thinkYouView has a pretty good interface albeit it’s possibly the best of a bad bunch.

    However, on the specific point raised in the original post, which is about the EPG. I do think there are better EPGs than the one YouView offers and the Freesat EPG referenced in the original post is a good example.
  • highdeftvfanhighdeftvfan Member Posts: 52
    TomW said:
    For all it's faults, is there a better TV interface then youview right now?

    Personally... I would say no..
    Is there a better interface? Good question. I haven’t used Sky, Virgin or Freeview Play. But having looked at screenshots and videos I have misgivings about all of them. Overall I thinkYouView has a pretty good interface albeit it’s possibly the best of a bad bunch.

    However, on the specific point raised in the original post, which is about the EPG. I do think there are better EPGs than the one YouView offers and the Freesat EPG referenced in the original post is a good example.
    Yes, I agree, the EPG could be better.
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