Recently I saw a commercial for the All About the Benjamins DVD. At one point during the commercial they tout the "animated menus" as a key feature of the DVD. It certainly doesn't say much about the movie itself or the quality of the bonus features, but it also is propagating one of the most frustrating, unneccesary, intrusive features in DVDs today.

A little while back Jakob Nielsen* published an article at his website entitled DVD Menu Design: The Failures of Web Design Recreated Yet Again. Essentially, DVD menus have brought back the animated email GIFs and cat backgrounds of a few years ago. When I watch a DVD I want to be able to easily find what I'm looking for. I don't care about how cool that spinning word is. The only time where I thought an intrusive DVD menu was worthwhile was on the Zoolander DVD. The extras in the menu were additional content and didn't affect my ability to find everything I needed.

So I beg you, DVD Menu designers of the world, remember that the hamster dance was never funny and seeing a 5-second loop of Vin Diesel zoom by in a fast car is always a bad idea. Simple, clear, focused. Thank you.

*Funny enough that the only time I reference the godfather of usability it is when he has a guest writer on his website.