Success Story: Creating a Product that Really Clicks with Customers

Channeling a New Persona in the Universal Control Market

Challenge: What do you do when your remote control doesn’t click with customers?

For consumers with many entertainment devices in their homes, universal remotes conveniently centralize the operation of several controllers into one handheld, wireless unit. One global personal peripherals company realized its own universal device, however, wasn’t remotely fulfilling its corporate mission to help people enjoy better experiences with the digital world. Challenges with its own device included a complicated setup, a high product return rate, market saturation, and a low Net Promoter Score (NPS), an indicator of business performance and brand experience.

The company needed to design a remote control that would be universally embraced by its customers, while delivering a more user-friendly experience from purchase and setup to everyday use and support.

The company partnered with projekt202 to create a way to dominate the global universal remote control market. projekt202’s Experience Strategy and Insight and UX team performed generative design research, based on collaboration with users, to find opportunities for disruptive innovation. The collected data points were then used to create a targeted consumer experience strategy.

A significant breakthrough came with the identification of a missing user-persona – the “Babysitter” – that the company had not considered. This persona signified someone who must be able to use a product without prior experience, context or help, such as a babysitter who is new to the users’ home. This “aha!” revelation helped establish new internal processes to further prepare and test remotes before they were publicly released.

Recommendations: Strategic improvements in process and product

Thanks to projekt202’s generative user research, the long-term product strategy also included improvements in packaging, retail store placement, market segmentation, market messaging, software setup processes, iconography, device data capturing process, help and documentation, and overall one-hand remote control usage patterns.

Additional recommendations were:

  • Establishment of accurate, inclusive personas
  • New, more user-friendly flagship universal remote controls
  • A revised, more efficient business process

Results: Delivering the #1 best seller in company history

The partnership with projekt202 clicked and, more importantly, it clicked with customers. The redesigned device gained a die-hard consumer following, as well as industry awards for design and innovation.

In addition:

  • With over 2 million units shipped, the product became the best-selling universal remote control in the world and the #1 SKU in the company’s history
  • Product return rates, previously over 30 percent, fell to less than 1 percent
  • The average setup time decreased from nearly four hours before redesign to only 15 minutes post-redesign
  • Internal audiences loved it, too: The new remote control was voted Best Product by the client’s employees for three years in a row
  • It received the highest NPS score of any of the client’s products