Remote Controls- Can You Push the Right Button?

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An example of a common poorly designed object is a remote control. While it would seem that designing a remote control should be a simple task that would be perfected by now, that is not the case. The first image is an example of a poorly designed remote. The design of this remote completely ignores the sensation of vision because it has small buttons that are close to each other, which makes pausing a movie, especially when it is hard to see the buttons, which is usually the case when watching a movie, a very difficult task to quickly accomplish. A way to improve this design would be to either make the buttons bigger, move the buttons around so that finding them is easier, or do both.

bad remote.jpg

The second image is an example of a remote control that is designed in a simple way and corrects the faults of the first remote. This remote is not only much larger, but the buttons have all been moved into different sections, which makes it easier to pause movies. Another way that this remote made using it simpler was by having different shapes for different tasks, which also makes it easy to find the function that you want. The designers of this remote considered both touch and sight when creating it, which makes it very easy to use the remote.

giant remote.jpg

Here's a video of a dog that doesn't like the complicated universal remote that its owners use...


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I never thought about the design of a remote being not productive in a way but this makes total sense! I hate the small little remotes that come with TVs or even DVD players sometimes have tiny little button remotes which you have to look hard and squint in order to make out what the buttons do. The larger remote and the remote with different shapes as different types of buttons works really well for this fix. This was a cool read and opened my eyes to things people typically do not think about.

I have noticed that even after using the same remote for a long time, it is still difficult for me to pick up the remote during a movie and find the exact right button i want to push if its dark and something like the second remote you pictured would be a whole lot easier to use.

Remote-makers should really read some of these suggestions. While trying to make their remotes look sleek and cool, they have been cutting back on their accessibility. Another thing that remotes seem to ignore is the shape of our hands. The square remotes seems an overly simplified shape, and I feel that a shape better matching the contours of our hand would make for easier sense-memory and one-handed control of the TV

I have never really thought about the size of the buttons on a remote to be so important. After reading this I realize that I do this. Having the bigger buttons make it easier and the bigger buttons on the remote are the more important ones.

That dog has good judgement. I think that some remote controls are a little ridiculous, with their buttons being ridiculously close together, too small to see, etc; However, I think that gigantic remote is a little over-the-top. One think I think that this increasing world of technology is doing to us, is making us lazy. If you're already sitting on your butt watching TV, then I really don't care if you're complaining because you can't change the channel due to a little extra work to find a button.

I agree with the point that some design of the remote control does not make our life easier. The ones have small tiny buttons are really hard to press and also need time to choose. The dog in the video is really funny and it truly did expressed his unhappyness toward the remote control. Maybe designing big button remote controls can bring profits to the company and be more satisfactory to the customers.

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This page contains a single entry by stetl007 published on February 18, 2012 5:07 PM.

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