[Learn by doing] Task-focused vs Product focused design - TV Remote Control on a Smart-phone

in #design4 years ago

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Task-focused vs Product focused design.

When you're designing things - be it a product, app, or a service - you want to focus on the actual product and get in as many awesome features as possible and make it awesome that way. Though that's not recommended.

That approach is called product-focused design - where you focus on the product, what it can do and packing in as much as possible and do as much as possible.

To keep it short, nice and simple let's design a remote control for a smart phone that is product-focused and explore the concepts this way.

It has all the features a remote can have:

  • changing channels, channel numbers, volume, recording, on/off, settings, even the signal strength.

productgocusedremote.png

Is there anything wrong with it?

To see the fault, let's look at the other side of the coin - which is task-based design.
Here, we first look at a task our user wants to accomplish and what environment they are in when they are trying to accomplish it.
So for a TV remote the tasks woud be

  • Record
  • Turn Off
  • Change volume
  • Change channel and Chosing channels

And the environment is pretty social where people around you can influence you in your tasks or influence what you do and you're multi-tasking (talking to someone, watching TV, checking the notification that just got in while you are changing a channel).
On top of that, more users are likely to be using the remote (kids, your spouse, guests).

So here's a quick mock-up.

task-focused-remote.png

The volume control alows the user to quickly change the volume without having to press one button many times to set it higher or lower (or even quickly muting it) but also keeping the fine-grained with the buttons to the side if required.

The most important and most common task is changing channels which is easily accessible by a thumb. You can mindlessly circle through all the channels if you desire so. But you can also quickly change to a speciic channel that will show you what the channel is and what is playing straight on the phone. So you don't have to remember what channel is which number.
It is also ordered based on what you watch the most.
Also, if you 3d-touch (or force touch? Whatever Apple calls it) then you also see more information regarding the current program on that channel with a live view, too.

And the last are Record and Power button. As these functions are not used that often they are at the top (not that easily reachable). This way you are less likely to accidently tap on it when you're fighting for the remote with your kids :).

Now is your turn. Show me your product and task-focused designs. Could be a TV remote control, too. But it's up to you. Pick anything.



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Great elaboration on two different approaches :) Inspired to write about design!

I'm happy to hear that. I'll be curious to see what you post.

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