DVD Annoyance

Once upon a time, when I was a real blogger, I had a category called "Usability Hall of Shame," wherein was found posts about poorly designed products and websites. Sometimes I think about reinstating that category because no matter how hard I try, the world inexplicably refuses to come around to my way of thinking about how things should work.

Take commercial movie DVDs, for example. When they first appeared on the scene, it seemed that the studios were in a heated competition to see who could create the most convoluted, hard-to-read implementation of a menu. One often had to sit through an interminable animated sequence of sight and sound before finally being presented with the buttons to play the dang movie already.

I'm pleased to say that this is much better, for the most part, undoubtedly thanks to my writing about it lo these many years ago. But one area remains neglected. It's not a huge thing, but when you think about it, it's really illogical and annoying.

Almost every movie DVD has the option of activating subtitles/captions, right? And I suspect I'm not the only person with good hearing who still activates them because I watch movies while on a noisy treadmill or exercise bike.

So, here's the illogical annoyance. When one clicks the "Subtitles" menu item, why is the default always "Off"? I mean, isn't it logical to assume that one doesn't click on that menu item unless one wants subtitles or captions (since by default they're always off)?

Countless remote control clicks could be saved each and every day if DVD designers simply made the default for the Subtitles menu "English." If you're not an English speaker and want another language, you haven't lost anything, and you're still probably a click or two closer to your selection than you are with the default "Off.")

OK, I've done my part. I'll be watching for improvement, Hollywood, and not patiently, either. Don't make me come out there.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Eric published on July 28, 2010 1:53 PM.

To All the Cars I've Known was the previous entry in this blog.

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