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The Roku Menu Click is Bad

Some UX critique and music theory to start your Monday right.

I've got to give Roku some credit since it's been around for a long time given the competition, all corporate giants.

It's an okay plaform. However, it's got a UX problem that grates me every time that I use it.

Whenever you perform an action or forward selection, it plays a confirm sound. It's a terrible confirm sound.

First, it's a direct copy of the Windows "Hardware Disconnect" sound that's been around since Windows XP (2001).

Did you "safely" remove your USB stick?

But the real problem (which you may have guessed by now) is that the sound conveys a backward action instead of a forward one.

Here's what the sound actually looks like:

It's a simple downward leap from an E to an A (perfect fifth) in an assumed key of E major.

In theory terms, the entire sound effect could be considered an "authentic cadence", a resolution from the fifth (dominant) to the base note (tonic) in a piece of music. This construct is typically used to end a song strongly.

People describe the feeling of a authentic cadence as "returning home", a feeling that should be avoided in a sound that implies progress.

Assuming the same style, the sound should look and play like this:

It's just the original tones reversed. Not super interesting, but definitely better.

25. From Pennsylvania, USA. Software engineer at Amazon.com, traveler, scuba divemaster, amateur photographer, aspiring minimalist. A bit restless.

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