Kid’s remote and TV App for TalkTalk

Designing for the youngest audience

Why product for Kids?

  • Kids content is most popular amongst TalkTalk TV’s linear pay channels​
  • Second most popular VOD genre on TV​
  • Customers with kids generate more revenue than those without

About the users

I started with a number of assumptions about both groups and validated them via interviews.

Parents – The decision makers

Parents are concerned about

  • Kids might not watch appropriate channels​
  • Kids mess up TV settings​
  • Kids watch the same content over and over again​
  • Kids might buy paid content​
  • Kids don’t watch enough educational content​
  • Parents struggle to convince kids to stop watching TV and go to bed​

Parents do not choose to put their kids in front of TV for the sake of it. They put them in front of TV when they need to accomplish tasks without being disturbed, such as cooking a dinner, taking a shower or having a glass of wine with friends. On the other hand, since kids cannot use the remote, and parents do not feel confident to leave kids in charge of remote, they are constantly being disturbed by having to change the channel or switch a show. This defies the original reason for having Kids in front of the TV.

Kids – Content consumers


  • Kids don’t know how to use normal remote controls​
  • Kids want to be independent in front of TV​
  • Kids want to be in control of TV​
  • Kids hate to be surprised when it’s time to go to bed​

Kids are comfortable with touch screen devices but until the age of 5 their eye-hand coordination is not developed. That is why they have trouble using a computer mouse or a TV remote. The challenge was to create a remote and TV interface that work together to resolve or at least alleviate the eye+hand coordination issue.

If we manage to solve the issue with the remote, there is a real value for parents in a product that will:

  • Create a safe TV environment for kids
  • Make kids independent in front of TV
  • Make parents feel at peace
  • Help parents manage kids when it’s time to go to stop watching and go to bed
  • Help parents control what their kids are watching on TV

An intuitive remote that puts kids in charge​.

A safe content area that puts parent’s minds at ease​.

Tools for parents to manage their kid’s TV habits​.

Prototyping and designing with kids

I have created fun surveys that can be filled in by children without a hlep of a grown up. They are based on colouring book principle. These surveys have been completed by around 60 children and provided us with insights to create a first prototype. First prototype was a simple test for affordability of the remotes. We tested them with children to come up with the final shape.

Once we had a remote that was tested well with children I started building electronics to create a finctioning remote and an Interface that can be controlled by the remote. We took the prototypes back to the testing lab.

The process

Here is a process video the team created in order to share and increase awareness of User Centered Design with the company.

Final product

After multiple iterations, we had a product that was easy to use and had features most valued by parents.

Rotating the wheel on the remote rotates the caracters carusel on the screen. Kids can select the caracters and episodes they want to watch.

If a parent pressed a secret yellow button on the main (parental) remote control, kids will see a bedtime notification.

If child tries to use the remote when its bedtime she will see a bedtime animation.

Parentl menu is accessible by pressing any button on the main reamote. This way it is protected from chidren randomly opening it.

Parents can set up regular bedtime. Parents can use a secret yellow button on their main remote to initiate bedtime at any point in the day. Parents can see how much TV their children have watched in the past 7 days.

Parents can hide shows from the kids playlist if they don’t like their kids watching certain shows or if they want to get their children to watch something else. (Kids have a tendency to watch the same shows over and over again, and sometimes, in order to introduce something new the old show can be hid).

Product design and manufacturing

I worked closely with Omni remotes who helped us manufacture the product. I learnt about child friendly materials and EU regulations on toy safety in the process. In July I visited our manufacturer’s factory in China for final checks, durability testing and working conditions in the factory. The remote has a fully IR transparent back (the black part of the body) to allow us to have IR transmitters in all directions as we expect kids to hold it in different ways. This makes it work no matter what way its being held. Batteries are included as well as 4 stickers for customisation. It was important that remote can be affordable to everyone, the sale price is £5 only!

We expect kids to press buttons and rotate the wheel constantly, so we tested each button to last 300,000 clicks per year for 4 years.


I ran 3 weeks of trials with 25 families to iron out any issues. Continiously communicating with the participants helped me find several issues that we solved before relase by making changes to the software. I also collected a prioritised list of features for a future roadmap based on the trial’s feedback.

Some of the best feedback came from the kids.

Press coverage

We launched the product on August the 4th, 2017.

IBC 2017

Omni Remotes invited me to showcase Kid’s remote in their exhibit space at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam.


Kid’s remote and TV app were successfully launched on the 4th of August 2017. Here is a little video of it that talks about it.

I created the concept, prototyped, designed the interface, trialed and worked with the manufacturer and developers directly on this project.

An intuitive remote that puts kids in charge​

A safe content area that puts parent’s minds at ease​

Tools for parents to manage their kid’s TV habits​

My gratitude and credit goes to my amazing team at TalkTalk – Sophie Williams, Marc Riggs, Rob Davies and Omni remotes.

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