1 or 0 Menu Items
Using the Netflix menus with nothing but a TV remote could be a frustrating process, but Netflix has done a great job of keeping clicks to a minimum while making things intuitively obvious.
One example of this is adding or removing shows from your watch list. When at the show many, there is a button that either has a big plus sign over “my list” or there is a button that says “remove”.
What I like is that this single button both offers the appropriate option and informs you whether you have added it to your list or not. A less elegant interface might have two buttons showing all the time, one to add and one to remove, but this would take up room and make it ambiguous whether or not you had added it.
The only quibble I have with this interface magic is the discrepancy between the two options – I would prefer the big plus sign over “my list” (the invitation to add) then become a big red x over “my list” (the invitation to remove). As it stands it is slightly ambiguous what “remove” means. My proposed change would use turn Principle 4 – Asymmetry, on its head, making the two options mirror each other more closely.
What computer interfaces could be improved with Principles 2, 4 or 5?