Redesigning the remote control

I own a Squeezebox audio player. For the most part, it is a brilliantly designed device. The design of the unit itself has an Apple-like simplicity and elegance. The UI makes it possible to navigate thousands of music files on a one line display from across the room.

Where it falls down is the remote control, which looks very similar to a remote I had for a Philips TV a few years ago.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence. Companies spend a lot of effort to design great products and UIs and then forget about the thing that most of us use to control it. Instead of designing a remote that fits the functions, they flip through the Universal Electronics catalog and repurpose remotes designed for some other purpose.

This is understandable when you’re talking about a $40 device with no margin, but not for leading edge devices. (Tivo’s remote is a rare exception.)

One innovation I’d love to see on remotes – a speed-sensitive scroller. In an on-demand world with thousands of movies, songs and artists at our fingertips, scrolling through pages and pages of items with page up/page down buttons is getting tedious.

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About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. His personal blog is at http://blog.agrawals.org and tweets at @rakeshlobster.
This entry was posted in audio, consumer electronics, video. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Redesigning the remote control

  1. Pingback: Apple TV brings your media to life « reDesign

  2. Pingback: Why are TV and DVD remotes so impossible to use? - Quora

  3. Maverick says:

    I feel so much happier now I udnretsnad all this. Thanks!

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