There’s a great example of the power of simplicity in the sitting rooms of nearly half the homes in the UK. It’s lurking under the TV in the form of the Sky+ PVR box. Sky+ has been around for over ten years now, but remains one of my favourite examples of restraint in product design.
What I think is especially great about the Sky+ design is not how easy it is to set up a recording by choosing a programme from the on-screen guide and pressing the record button. That is great, of course, and it’s become so natural now that most of us have long since forgotten the nightmare that was programming our VCRs. It’s also not the near-magical ability to pause live TV that I especially like. Wasn’t that a “wow!” feature when you first saw it though?