Teresa Ovalle

Welcome to Me

Every Day Object Evaluation – Week 1

on September 7, 2014

The firs example of an every day object that annoys me is our Samsung remote control for the DVD player. I find this particular remote annoying because most times when I pick it up, I pick it up upside down and begin pressing buttons. This would not bother most people I know, however, it bothers me because when I start pressing buttons with the remote upside down, I press the wrong buttons and get the incorrect responses from the DVD player.

When I complain to others about this remote, people look at me odd and some snicker and suggest that it is not the remote’s fault. They suggest that the user has the issue.

This remote is non-descript and other than two red buttons on top, there is nothing on the top of the remote that suggests that the top end is in fact the top of the remote. The other remotes I use have lettering on the top and the bottom of the remote and the top lettering clearly suggests which end is up.
Screenshot 2014-09-06 21.33.36

Steve Krug, Don’t Make Me Think, defines usability with seven attributes: Useful, Learnable, Memorable, Effective, Efficient, Desirable and Delightful. (pg. 9)

My remote is useful – when it’s held correctly. The remote is learnable by everyone but me it seems. Users of this remote do not have to relearn the skills to use it effectively. The remote does get the job done when it’s held correctly. It is also efficient when it is held correctly. The remote is desirable – people want it, and need it, to move through the DVD. The remote is not enjoyable to me to use. As I mentioned above, almost every time I pick it up, I pick up upside down.

Krug’s exact definition of usability is, “A person of average (or even below average) ability and experience can figure out how to use the thing to accomplish something without it being more trouble than it’s worth.” (pg. 9)

I am an person of average, or above average, intelligence, therefore, I have determined it is the remote’s fault and not mine.

The solution to my remote issue would be to extend the top of the remote by a couple centimeters to include a brand name at the top or to include another indicator that clearly establishes the top of the remote as such. This would alleviate the issue of my picking up the remote incorrectly and having the DVD player respond in confusing ways.