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.


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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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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