Time Warner Cable: Worst TV Interface Ever?
TWC remote. Can’t even tell you what that green button is with the reversed-out text. Who designs these things?
I remember asking my husband – a security manufacturing guy – years ago if there was a reason that alarm panels were all so ugly. Was it somehow cheaper to make them ugly? The answer was no.
And today, I am just as awed that so many digital user interfaces are ridiculously bad. I can’t imagine that good designers are that much more expensive than bad ones, especially when you’re talking about well-financed firms like Time Warner Cable, purveyor of one of the world’s worst TV interfaces.
I’m pretty sure I saw my husband cry the other day while clutching a TWC remote, unable to get to a recording of “60 Minutes.”
It’s no wonder. The DVR menu is under the HELP tab. Makes perfectly good sense.
There’s the DVR ... in the help menu with parental controls. Right.
I won’t even go into the unnerving universal remote that TWC supplies with its digital cable service. Even if I could see the tiny labels on the tiny buttons, they wouldn’t make sense.
The entire TWC experience is epitomized by the video-on-demand feature – something I had never used until about a month ago. I think I hit the VoD button by accident.
What a mess!
Seems like a nice feature, right? You can watch some good prime-time shows whenever you want? As long as you can find them? Which you can’t?
VoD is an attractive service, which I never knew about from my last cable experience (12 years with Comcast) since I used a Windows Media Center with CableCard. It could potentially keep me from cutting the cord with TWC, but TWC does everything to repel me from the service.
In the video below, I demonstrate how a person might find Honey Boo Boo on TWC VoD. It isn’t pretty. On so many levels.
You think cable companies are losing subscribers because of cheap online competition? Maybe they’re defecting because of the bad user experience.
VIDEO: Time Warner Cable VoD experience: terrible GUI