Designing Media for the Home

Litl is a small computer with big ideas on a mission to make the Web more enjoyable. Cooper worked with the amazing folks at litl, as well as fuseproject, Fort Franklin, and Pentagram to deliver a new kind of portable device—a “personal computer” re-imagined as a portable device optimized for home use. Our efforts were focused on the design of the operating system’s interaction language, and we closely collaborated with litl’s design team and development team to arrive at a truly different, widely praised product.

Conversational & Whimsical

Our work began with hands-on consumer research. This allowed us to deeply explore the needs and expectations of a true “family” computer—browsing the web, watching videos, looking at photos, and sharing. Most of all, the device needed to feel different. We knew that it had to be conversational and friendly, with a liberal dose of whimsy.

Sharing & Connecting

The litl was designed to be shared among a group of people. Our design work focused on creating ways to share content and connect to others, and getting away from the various annoyances and obstacles in current devices.

A “radical departure”

When it debuted in November of 2009, many commentators were deeply impressed by the device. Walter Mossberg reviewed the litl on his blog, All Things D, and referred to the UI as “bold” and “refreshing.” As with all “radical departures,” as Walter Mossberg called it, it was also met with some doubt as to whether its new mechanisms would be too “new” for users. Still, many rallied to praise its innovative elements. 

“The Litl is designed around how people actually use their computers in the home… It’s not really a laptop or a netbook or even a smart TV. It’s a hybrid unto itself.”

- Fast Company

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