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Consistency and Standards

Good Example: Writing Icon

On iPhones, there is a specific icon used to indicate the fact that you can write something.  This is usually a small square with a writing utensil in the top right-hand corner.  No matter what the writing utensil’s shape or size or coloring choices might be, it is recognized by all users as the symbol.

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Bad Example: Remote Controls

Remote controls are often difficult for the elderly to operate, and it isn’t just because of the size of the buttons or the small wording.  It is often the placement of the buttons.  Because TV is often watched at night, it is hard to see what each button is for, so a seasoned user would go by the feel of the button and it’s placement.  However, there is no consistency of shapes and placement of the most used buttons across controller.  Furthermore, there is an issue with mapping when the elderly get tired of trying to figure out the buttons and simply physically walk to the TV to locate the buttons they desire – such as volume, channel, and source.

Fix: Create Standards

In order to create standards of buttons, I think that the smartphone would have to take over.  If an app is used to control your TV, then Bootstrap icons would be used.  Physical remote controls would follow suit with their icons and hopefully light up in order for them to be more visible.  The other thing that could happen is that all TV remotes could become touch screens.

TV remote control

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About the author: mariamcl67

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