Tuesday, 4 January 2011

iSky

Well I have spent most of this morning trying out the new iSky service from Sky TV.

Verdict, totally underwhelmed.

The premise is great. Watch programmes on your computer that you may have missed, not recorded or otherwise not known about. Lets not go into the fact that the advertising for the service was for end of 2010 and it is only in pre-release now, Jan 2011.

I was sent a tester login and password. I must have tried 20 times to get in before I worked out that you needed to have two different user-id and passwords. One for the iSky service and the second to identify you and your Sky TV subscription. It was not intuitive at all. The first box popped up asking for user-id and password, when that had disappeared, you were then asked to sign-in to view a programme. Isn't that just what I had done? Apparently not, this is where I eventually found by trial and error (mostly error) that the second sign-in needed to be my Sky TV ID to verify that I was allowed to watch that content.

SUGGESTION - Link the iSky user-id to the Sky TV user-id so there only needs to be one log-in. Shouldn't be hard, but obviously a system designed by techies with no thought to the user experience.

I must have spent about half an hour trying to get to the stage where I could watch a programme. The system would hang, I would get connection refused errors, just plain un-responsive. If this is what it is like in pre-release, what will it be like when everyone is trying to get on.

Eventually my chosen programme started playing. I was quite impressed by the lack of lag. It was quite a good experience watching the programme. Now to see if the usage counts against my broadband plan. I am with Vodafone so it is not supposed to. We shall see.

SUGGESTION - Get some subscribers to do user experience testing for you before you release. It just feels like a system designed by techies for techies.

VERDICT - Premise is great, content delivery is very good, overall user experience is poor.