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AKQA revealed as agency behind Microsoft's Xbox 360 navigational interface

LONDON - Digital agency AKQA has designed the interface for Microsoft's new Xbox 360, which is due to launch towards the end of the year.

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The agency is better known for its work on online advertising and designing websites, but now it has created the navigational screens that Xbox users will see when they fire up the console.

Designed by AKQA's interface design group, it will include Xbox Dashboard and Xbox Guide. AKQA promises the design will combine simplicity and ease of use with cutting-edge design and fast response.

AKQA built several functioning prototypes of the interface, working with the Xbox 360 industrial design team. These were then tested in workshops and usability sessions before being refined and retested. Customers were also interviewed to help develop the interface.

The agency works on other elements of Xbox, and was most recently behind the £1m campaign to launch the new game 'Forza Motorsport'.

Russ Glaser, group user interface design manager at Xbox, said: "The Xbox 360 user interface provides an elegant way to take total control of Xbox 360 quickly and easily. The exciting reaction from customers during usability sessions worldwide highlights the power of the Xbox 360, its universal interface and design working seamlessly."

Xbox 360 is set to launch in the US later this year, in time for the holiday season. As well as being a gaming console it will be able to connect with MP3 players, digital cameras and PCs to stream music and photos.

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