Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Poor Remote Control Design

The other night, I was lying in bed trying to use the remote control in the dark. This is not an unusual scenario in my household, but I realized that the particular remote I was using is poorly designed.

All designers of TV remotes should assume that users might use them in the dark. With that said, the button arrangement should be considered. Ideally the remote would be backlit, so you can see what you are doing. In the case that it is not (mine isn't), then the numbers should be arranged so you can feel around and push them successfully.

So what's wrong with my clicker (that's what we call it in my house)? The closed captioning button is located below the zero. The other clickers in the house don't feature this arrangement, so I am used to navigating to the bottom of the number pad and pushing the bottom center button to get a zero. When I do this on the clicker in question, I turn on the close captioning and enter a menu that requires multiple pushes to turn the feature off.

It's irritating. Maybe I'll get a new fangled flat TV and it will have a better clicker. Or I could just go get a universal remote... but of course, this clicker might just be one of those.

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