PlayStation 5 User Experience Revealed

For the last few months Sony and Microsoft have slowly been revealing more and more information about their next gen consoles, but we hadn’t seen anything at all yet on what the PlayStation 5 would look like once you booted it up. Last week, Sony released a brief video detailing the new experience and some of the new features coming with the PS5 in November.

A prominent feature of the new user experience is a cards-based interface that appears when you press the PS button. The cards allow quick access to recent and suggested content and features and leverage a new concept called “Activities” that Sony hopes will help gamers discover new gameplay features. Some of the activities shown off include party features, social sharing, and highlighting particular in game objectives complete with tasks list, percentage complete, and (for PlayStation Plus users only) in game video hints.

While the cards UI looks great, the success of the feature will be heavily dependent on developers to come up with creative and useful ways to utilize the game-specific activities. I’m not sure yet whether it’ll take off beyond Sony first party titles or if it will be useful for all game genres. If it doesn’t take off within games, the cards could still turn out to be good ways to provide quick contextual options for access system features but only time will tell.

For me personally, as long as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X allow me to get in and out of the games I want to play quickly I am happy to see them experiment with what “next gen” could mean for the rest of the user experience.

Texas RB Earl Campbell vs Oklahoma

Earl got up: Inside the second act of a Texas legend

ESPN has a fantastic, difficult profile of Texas running back legend Earl Campbell and his life during and after college and pro football. Longhorn fans have seen Earl unable to get out of the golf cart on sidelines for years, but the reasons were a lot more complicated than just a career of hard nosed running.

Turns out, the player known for being one of the toughest runners in the history of football was unknowingly playing with spinal stenosis his entire life, a diagnosis that today immediately ends careers. A wrong hit any time in his career could have sent him to a wheelchair 30 years ago.

So happy to know that Earl has gotten the medical help and counseling help he needed and like the article title says, has gotten back up again.

LG Wing dual screen rotating phone is surprisingly interesting

This upcoming new phone from LG looks hilariously stupid at first glance, but The Verge’s hands-on actually shows some decently real use cases where the form factor could be nice. I was surprised by the thinness of both the front rotating screen and over the overall device.

I can’t imagine how this thing will hold up after months of use, but pretty cool to see some of the ways companies are reimagining phones thanks to some cool new tech.

All in the same boat comic

Managing Remote Teams During COVID

It’s been over six months since the day I left the office, leaving for Spring Break family vacation and the world falling apart before we returned. While unexpectedly working (and parenting and educating) from home as a family has certainly brought new challenges, I’ve found leading projects and managing a UX team to have been the areas where I have needed to be most intentional about the ways I manage differently in “our new reality.”

This article on how to adapt to the things you didn’t expect when managing remote teams during COVID has some tips I’ve found valuable in my day to day. In particular, as a person who prefers to avoid stepping into unnecessary bear traps I have had to be very purposeful in asking (repeatedly) how people are doing. I’ve found myself being more open in my own struggles (and occasional successes) as well to make the team feel safer opening up.

Not sure how long we’ll be doing this without any choice, but feeling better now than ever that working remotely can be successful for both delivering great work and mentoring great designers.

ikea-studio-desks

Ikea Hack | studio desks

With the entire family working/schooling from home for at least the rest of 2020, we have been looking for ways to give everybody in the house a comfortable and productive workspace. This Ikea hack of a kitchen countertop on some white Hemnes dressers looks great so we’re going to see if we can mimic it for our space.

apple-sketch-notes

New Apple Pencil Features

Been using the Apple Pencil for almost two years now and am super excited about the new Pencil UI features coming in iOS 14. Between Scribble, paste handwriting as text, smart selection, shape recognition, and more there are big improvements coming for the Pencil both as a UI tool as well as specifically for handwriting and drawing. The Sweet Setup has a great look into the implementation of the new Apple Pencil features both in Apple Notes & GoodNotes.

Worth a look to see what’s coming this Fall.