Microsoft is Tinkering with the Xbox Dashboard. Again

Posted on July 25, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox One with 16 Comments

Xbox Insiders are now testing what I believe is Microsoft’s 117th attempt at delivering a fast and efficient Xbox One Dashboard.

OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But it’s at least the 115th attempt. The slowness and inefficiency of this interface is something that’s been dogging Xbox One users since there’s been an Xbox One, and it seems like every other Xbox update is designed to fix the problem.

So here we go again.

“The Home [screen of the Dashboard] on Xbox One is the first thing you see when you turn on your Xbox One, and we want to deliver an easy and seamless experience for you to navigate your console,” Microsoft’s Bradley Rossetti explains. “We’ve heard your feedback and have continued to iterate on Home to get you into your gaming experiences faster and keeping more of your content front and center. With today’s update, we’re experimenting with a streamlined user interface.”

So, what’s different? Well, it looks like the tabs at the top—or what Rossetti calls “the twists”—are gone, “in favor of separate buttons that launch your gaming experiences. The goal is to let you jump into Xbox Game Pass, Mixer, Xbox Community, and Microsoft Store quicker than ever. We’ve also shifted things around to make more room for your recently played titles.”

Ah yes. Shifted things around. There’s been a lot of that in the Xbox One UI, which has proven so impervious to performance improvements that Microsoft has been relegated to reducing button pushes to make it more efficient. This work apparently continues.

What’s interesting about this one, however, is that Microsoft is actually seeking the community’s help to determine whether this new design is better.

“The new experimental Home rolls out this week to select Xbox Insiders in our Alpha and Alpha Skip Ahead rings,” Rossetti continues. “For more details on [the] rollout, keep an eye on the Xbox Insiders section of Xbox Wire. The Home experience will continue to evolve and change based on your feedback, so please let us know what you think and share your ideas for Home at the Xbox Ideas Hub. You may see this layout change and even come and go as we iterate on your feedback.”

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