That TiVo Remote...
Here is an especially cool article about the design and history of the TiVo remote. I've been thinking a lot about design lately from a web perspective but in terms of thinking about designing to solve user problems, there is really no difference from an online or offline approach.
This is, to my mind, quite cool stuff.
Like any remote, the designers were adamant about keeping the remote’s button layout as simple as possible. But with the DVR’s numerous features, the designers needed to create lots of extra buttons. To keep things straight, each button needed to have a distinctive feel, giving the ability to control the remote without even looking at it, which Newby described as a “key Braille-ability" surprisingly helped by the "blank finger parking spots between keys" that were equally important.
Go read the whole thing.