Jessie Johnson | D105 Spring, 2020
The goal for this project was to create ten different variations of an already existing product. These variations should explore the ergonomic and aesthetic possibilities lying within the original form.
I chose to study a Wii remote because of its familiarity and simple design. There were several challenges involved with this product. Ergonomics needed to be heavily considered in conjunction with the aesthetic. The forms also needed to accommodate both hand preferences to avoid manufacturing costs. All in all, this project offered a unique look into the world of handheld products.
This model was created to be used as a base reference for proceeding models. Although it replicates the original Wii remote, it is simplified to showcase the true form of the remote.
This form explored what a wider, rounder form would feel like in the hand. This shape was actually uncomfortable when held, leading me to test narrower forms.
This model was the opposite of the previous form. The overall shape was narrower and the grip was made to be concave as opposed to convex. This form was much more comfortable.
This form combines what was learned in the previous model with a clean aesthetic. The same curvaceous back was used, but clean, sweeping lines were introduced.
Taking aesthetics further, this model boasts several angles and curves. Unfortunately, this resulted in some discomfort when held.
With this model, I experimented with narrowing the form and making the handle convex. Although the concave shape in the previous models felt fairly comfortable, the convex curvature felt somewhat superior. Although the narrowness of this form felt better than the thicker iterations, it would be too thin for buttons or larger-sized hands.
This shape was inspired by classic TV remote designs. It focused on simplifying the complex curves and angles I had previously explored. The result was clean shape that retained comfortable handling.
Exploring simplification further, this model reduced the form of a remote into a primary shape. The thin, tubular form also produced comfortable handling.
Taking into account what felt comfortable or awkward in the previous models, this model was produced. This form felt nearly perfect for the natural shape of the hand. The narrow base widened towards the thumb, allowing for ease of use with buttons and handling. In addition, a convex back made for comfortable placement of the fingers.
This final model was mostly concerned with aesthetics. I wanted to push the boundaries of what a remote could like. The bevels on the sides of the form allude to the original shape of a Wii remote while also adding a unique visual feature.
This project was incredibly educational in several different ways. I learned about ergonomics, practicality, and aesthetics. With these forms, I tried to take into account these three elements in different ways; exploring their benefits, limitations, and downsides. They can be combined together or completely separated depending on the objective at hand. Working with blue foam was also an educational experience, as I learned about the process of ideation and prototyping.