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Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Design in a vacuum
Rob Spiegel   4/24/2013 11:12:39 AM
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The problems with this DVD player design could have been avoided if the design engineers involved were aware of some of the standard features in DVD players. The eject button that doesn't activate the "on" function is a good example. Simple familiarity with the button functions of other DVD players should have been sufficient to avoid these shortcomings.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Design in a vacuum
far911   4/25/2013 2:45:05 AM
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When you go ahead to design a product, its common practice to take into account some successful industrial examples. This is where they went wrong in this case, there's a lot of void space on the DVD player but they haven't bothered to put the basic playback controls. 

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Open it up
Battar   4/25/2013 8:55:40 AM
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Open it and look inside. Thsi looks like a "design for manufacturing" solution. The eject button is probably on a very short ribbon connected to the control board, which in turn is connected to the DVD module with another short ribbon. The on/off button would take the shortest route to the power supply, which would be a seperate module. I'm just guessing here, but I can see the logic behind it. Given that the unit has only 2 buttons, I'm guessing you paid for it what I pay for a decent hamburger/chips/beer (not cheap where I live), so you can imagine that it was designed to be assembled in 2 minutes 17 seconds using the minimum number of parts possible.

JRThro
User Rank
Iron
Slightly Better Design
JRThro   4/25/2013 10:01:12 AM
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I have an inexpensive DVD player that also has only the Powe and Eject buttons on the front. On this player, the Power button is at the far left, the DVD tray is to the right of the Power button, and the Eject button is to the right of the DVD tray.  This seems like a much more logical arrangement to me.

There are no other controls on this DVD player, so it absolutely requires a remote control to operate. (Luckily, I still have the remote control.) Presumably this is also the case with the original poster's DVD player.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Slightly Better Design
William K.   4/25/2013 4:47:31 PM
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Like most of the really cheap trash DVD players this one is only intended to be run by the remote control device, the power switch and eject buttons are a compromise, only included for removal of the rented DVD when the remote control fails after 4 months. Your best recorse is to use the remote on/off function and to check for the presence of local control buttons when you purchase the replacement for this one in a few months. If you purchase the junk there is no incentive to build anything better. Please remember that!

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Design in a vacuum
Rob Spiegel   4/25/2013 6:37:06 PM
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I agree, Far911. One thing I don't understand is why some players have most of the controls on the remote alone and very little on the box itself. If you lose the remote -- or the dog uses it as a cfhew toy -- the product becomes useless.

1800ES
User Rank
Gold
Re: Design in a vacuum
1800ES   4/26/2013 10:04:54 AM
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RE: your comment about the eject button that doesn't activate the 'ON' function-

Likewise, the GREAT Pure 550 internet/FM/Itunes/memorystick/whatever radio I got this year. The 8-10 buttons on the front control power and source selection. When the radio is off, you must press the 'Power/Standby' button to power the unit up, then press the button that selects the source you want to listen to. It would make a lot more sense to turn 'ON' the power (if required) when a source button is pressed. That would eliminate standing there and waiting for it to power up (love these european solid-state radios!), then selecting what you want to listen to.

3drob
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Design in a vacuum
3drob   4/26/2013 10:44:14 AM
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Case use studies probably indicated that 99% of the time, people do NOT use the front panel buttons (except to turn the unit on/off and eject the disk, and then only because you are there at the unit to insert/remove the disk).  Only including an eject and power button are an acceptable compromise between none and many.  Want more buttons?  Spend more money and get a better unit.

The real design failure was in the user interface.  The location of the buttons was non-intuitive or didn't match industry standards.  Being poorly marked makes it worse.  Minimal cost to do it right makes it a fail.

If I were designing it, I would eliminate the power button entirely (most modern electronics already lack power buttons) and make the entire front plate of the DVD tray a capacitive touch eject button.  Tap to open/close and turn on, long touch (or no-use timeout) to turn off.

My DVD player uses capacitive buttons (i.e. no buttons), but has many, with hard to see markings.  Except for the eject button (which does turn on the unit, thankfully) I use the remote exclusively.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Design in a vacuum
Rob Spiegel   4/26/2013 1:49:35 PM
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That makes plenty of sense, 3Drob. I have an inexpensive unit with stop/play, eject and power on the panel. All I ever use on the panel is the eject button to put the DVD in or take it out. The eject button turns the unit off or on. I too, use the remote for all other functions. It works just fine.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Human factors
Charles Murray   5/2/2013 7:56:37 PM
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Stories like this always make me wondr if these manufacturers ever do any human factors studies before they release their products. I can't imagine they do. As William K pointed out in an earlier comment, you get what you pay for.

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