Introducing the hands down, coolest remote in the world: the TiVo Slide! I’ve designed a lot of products in my career, but the Slide is, without a doubt, the one I’m most proud of and feel the most ownership over.
One of the most rewarding things for me about product design is being able to go into a store like Best Buy, see a product, and know that I designed it. Most people have no idea the amount of hard work, dedication, and creativity that goes into designing and creating great products. Understanding what it takes, seeing the end result sitting on a shelf, and knowing that it is, or will be, used and enjoyed by many people is a fantastic feeling. For me, it provides a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, and is one of the main factors that motivate and drive me.
The Slide remote, however, went a step beyond that. To come up with an idea, push that concept through the company, and then design and bring that idea to production represents to me another level of accomplishment. It’s a big part of why the Slide is so special to me.
There were certainly some unique challenges in designing a slider remote. Without giving away anything (we can’t just give away our secrets now, can we?), there were quite a few things to consider. Typical remote considerations like size, shape, button set/size/shape/layout, usability/ergonomics, and aesthetics were complicated by the need to consider all these aspects in both the open and closed positions. In many cases, the various facets would fight against each other (e.g., improving one area in the closed position would result in compromises in another area in the open position).
Of course the sliding mechanism presented plenty of challenges of its own. Just about every remote that anyone has ever used contains no moving parts. As a result, people are accustomed to remote controls feeling very solid. So how do you make something that slides (and is thus inherently not solid) feel like it’s solid, especially in the closed (and predominant use) position?
The challenges were many, but I feel really good about how they were ultimately addressed, and am really happy with the end product. Users seem to agree as initial feedback, both internal and external, has been overwhelmingly positive.
Out of all the early reviewers, perhaps my favorite line is from CrunchGear (emphasis mine):
It’s just the classic TiVo peanut remote shrunk down a bit with a sliding QWERTY keyboard added. But how is it in practice? Pretty much the best thing on Earth.
I have to chuckle a bit at the first line in that quote, but the last line in the quote more than makes up for it and affirms many of the design decisions made.
We’re currently featuring the Slide remote on the front page of tivo.com (click on pic below for larger size):
Now if you’re astute, you may have noticed the “Watch Video” link. Well, our creative/marketing group decided to have me and our industrial designer do a little promotional video for the Slide remote. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it because even though I absolutely dread watching myself on that video, the unfortunate reality is that the video was a memorable event for me (hey, I didn’t say it was a good memory) and one of the primary purposes of this website is to help capture memorable moments in my life.
The video may be hard to find from the home page on tivo.com (and won’t be there forever) so here’s the direct link. It’s also on TiVo’s YouTube channel:
[sigh] I’ve really got to talk to somebody about changing the default frame in that YouTube video. I look bad enough in the video, but that default frame is particularly bad [deeper sigh].