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Magonote - Making Complex Home Electronics Accessible by Empowering the Family Technology Lead

Matthew Forrest , John Zimmerman , Jody Forlizzi

Advances in technology continually increase the ability, but also the complexity, of consumer electronics. While manufacturers try to remedy this by designing programmable remote controls or consolidating multiple interfaces into one, our research shows that families often rely upon a single person – the family “technology lead” – to operate their home electronics for them. Instead of trying to create simpler interfaces for complex home electronics that can be used by all, we believe that a system which empowers the family technology lead will not only facilitate the operation of complex home electronics, but will bring families closer together. In this paper we present Magonote, a conceptual system created using iterative, user-centered design methodologies, as a solution to this problem.


family ties, home electronics, user-centered design