Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 both have 'bad' user experiences — here's why

Xbox Series X The Original Dynamic Background Live
Xbox Series X The Original Dynamic Background Live (Image credit: Zachary Boddy | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Built for Mars' Peter Ramsey did a case study on why the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 both have poor UX (user experience).
  • Between a lack of auto procession, bad labeling, and too many clicks being required per task, Ramsey's study highlights a number of areas both consoles "fail" consumers in the UX department.
  • While the Xbox Series X fares marginally better than the PS5 in a few of this case study's categories of examination, neither console was deemed an overall success.

Built for Mars' Peter Ramsey has shared a case study on how Microsoft's and Sony's current-gen consoles do in the UX department, and the results aren't good: By his study's standards, both have bad user experiences that lack a lot of quality-of-life elements that other consumer apps feature.

The full-length case study is definitely worth checking out if you're interested in learning about what elements define a good UX versus bad UX. However, here's a little preview of what the case study went over.

Ramsey examined how many inputs it took to complete 30 tasks across each system. Those tasks took 279 inputs on PlayStation 5 and 215 inputs on Xbox Series X. After running a few more experiments, the conclusion was made that the XSX has more efficient menus than the competition. However, that didn't mean either UX was good. From Ramsey's point of view, both were "bad," in the sense that neither had the streamlined UX and associated conveniences of many consumer apps.

Here are some examples cited regarding where the PS5 and XSX UX fail: Poor labeling for settings and a lack of field auto-procession for tasks such as picking dates on a calendar.

The case study also explored how Xbox's achievement delivery system is more psychologically gratifying than that of PlayStation's trophy system, among other topics. Check it out if you want to look at your system of choice in a whole new way. And check out the best Xbox Game Pass games if you want endless access to all those endorphin-releasing achievements.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to