We do a great deal of consumer-based product research and product usability testing. The interaction between our customers and our products is a challenging relationship to understand: what may be intuitive to one person may be completely foreign to another.

We have invested, and we continue to invest, greatly in trying to understand our customer’s video interests in an effort to make regular improvements to our products. Our research involves placing our new product prototypes in the hands of consumers to understand likes, dislikes, and general usability. When I review the results, or sit in on usability testing, I learn a great deal about the typical user’s behavior. It can be a humbling experience. Features and functions that we may have assumed were natural and intuitive turn out not to be.

One that struck me recently was how many users did not understand that the on-screen guide for our digital cable TV product has a color coding scheme. Just in case you didn’t know, the colors that appear in the guide are linked to the content category, like so:

  • Regular TV programming = Blue
  • Sports = Green
  • Movies = Purple
  • Kids = Light Blue

I’m curious. Did you know this, and do you find it useful?

BTW… take a look at Comcast.net. We use the same color coding in the on-line TV Listings on our Web portal as well.