10-foot user interface

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Kodi Entertainment System (Confluence skin) home screen user interface, showing an example of a horizontal 10 ft. user interface design
XBMC Media Center (PM3.HD skin) home screen user interface, showing an example of a vertical 10 ft. user interface design
The third (and current) Apple TV interface
The interface used in the third generation Apple TV series featured a rounded rectangle tile interface.

In computing, a 10-foot user interface (also sometimes referred to as "10 foot UI", "10 foot interface", "10 foot experience", or "10 foot design") is a graphical user interface for large televisions, with ergonomical display elements (menus, buttons, text fonts, etc.) easily read from a distance of 10 feet (3 meters), and controlled using a regular television style remote control.[1][2][3][4] The minimum core buttons are designed for simplicity and clarity.[5][6]


10 foot interfaces are used by devices or software applications dedicated to its user interface being displayed on a television. Television here is defined to be a typical living room television experience, meaning displayed on a big screen, where the user is sitting far away from it, and the dominant form of input will be something like a D-pad on a remote control, (with only up, down, left, and right buttons), not through touch or mouse.[7]


"Ten foot" is used to differentiate the GUI style from those used on desktop computer screens, which typically assume the user's eyes are less than two feet (60 cm) from the display. The 10 foot GUI is almost always designed to be operated by a simple hand-held remote control. The 10-foot user-interface has extra large buttons with menu fonts that are easily read and navigated.[8][9]

This difference in distance from the screen has a huge impact on the interface design compared to typical desktop computer interaction when the user is sitting at a desk with a computer monitor, and using a mouse and keyboard (or perhaps a joystick device for video games) which is sometimes referred to as a "2-foot user interface". Ten-foot interfaces may resemble other post-WIMP systems graphically, due to a similar paucity of pixels, but do not assume the use of a touch screen.[10][11]

The goal of 10 foot user interface design is normally to make the user's interaction as simple and efficient as possible, trying to achieve a more laid-back and relaxed user experience with as few button presses as possible while still having an intuitive layout, in terms of accomplishing user goals—what is often called user-centered design. Good user interface design facilitates finishing the task at hand without drawing unnecessary attention to itself. Graphic design may be utilized to support its usability, however the design process must balance technical functionality and visual elements (e.g., mental model) to create a system that is not only operational but also usable and adaptable to changing user needs.[12][13][14]

See also[edit]