Paul Newby and Margret Schmidt


Revolutionizing the DVR: Welcome to the TiVolution!
122 minutes, 56.2mb, recorded 2004-12-14

Why are so many TiVo owners TiVo advocates? Cable subscribers often simply use the DVR supplied by their cable provider, but TiVo devotees crow about its ease of use and features. In this 2004 BayCHI appearance, TiVo's Paul Newby and Margret Schmidt explain TiVo's development process and a bit of TiVo's history. They mix detailed techniques and formal studies with humorous anecdotes and engage with the audience on challenging questions.

Topics include the design of the logos, the use of animation in navigation screens, and simple questions about the operation of the TiVo device. A surprising amount of effort went into the design of the iconic TiVo remote, an example of TiVo's attention to detail in industrial design as well as user interface design. Margret and Paul also discuss what the TiVo platform offers to advertisers.

Even as technical features and components are discussed, the main presentation focuses on the human element: How to viewers see the product and think the product might change.

A long, in-depth technical presentation, this talk nevertheless offers lots of entertaining interaction between the the speakers and the audience.

Paul Newby was senior director of consumer design at TiVo through 2008. He managed industrial design, product design engineering, hardware branding, mechanical sourcing, and tooling for TiVo's line of personal video recorders (PVRs). With a peanut-shaped remote control and a line of simple receivers, Paul and his Consumer Design Team helped TiVo become an icon in ease of use. During his career, Paul has brought a rare mix of engineering, design, and marketing skills to over 100 products from Silicon Graphics, Compression Labs, Bell Sports, IDEO, Convergent Technologies, and Caterpillar. Paul's favorite shows: West Wing, The Jon Stewart Daily Show, and Seinfeld.

Margret Schmidt is vice president of user experience at TiVo, where she manages interaction designers, prototypers, graphic artists, and researchers in the creation of well-loved interfaces for the TV, PC, Mac, and web components of the company's business. She believes that when you empower great designers to lead product direction and support them with a strong research team, you are rewarded with products that create passion. Prior to joining TiVo, she created the Usability Engineering Group at iPIX. On the road to discovering that User Experience was her passion, she spent time as an engineering manager, a product manager, and even a real estate broker. She has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley. Margret's favorite shows: The Amazing Race, Monk, and Gilmore Girls.


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