There are certain objects we use in our daily lives which we have difficulty using, but we are so used to working around those difficulties that we don’t stop to think why we tolerate such bad designs.
Bad designs aren’t just something not pleasing to look at. Things that degrade user experience are bad designs. At best, bad designs do not help the user’s cause; at worst, they hinder their cause by creating obstacles for the user to climb over.
Good designs, on the other hand, don’t have to be something very clever. Often, the simplest tools have the best designs. In fact, sometimes designs which try to be too clever can be detrimental to user experience.
Here are some examples of bad design in everyday objects.
Serial Wired Fairy Lights
If you’ve ever been in charge of putting up Diwali or Christmas lights, you’ll know what I mean when say serial-wired lights are a right pain in the posterior.
All kinds of fairy lights are horribly difficult to untangle without damaging the delicate circuitry, but if a single bulb in a serial-wired string of fairy lights fuses, you are doomed.
When one bulb goes out, it breaks the entire circuit, and you have no way of finding out which one to change. That is, unless you are ready to take up the daunting task of checking every bulb by trial and error. If you have ever tried doing that, I salute your determination!
ATMs That Return Cards After Dispensing Cash
People visit ATMs for one purpose: withdrawing cash. Once the cash has been dispensed, they are in a hurry to leave. So, people are more likely to forget their cards at the ATM while using such machines.
Or there are some people who have minor anxiety attacks worrying about whether or not their card will get jammed in the dispenser. Either way, it’s horribly inconvenient!
Every microwave I’ve ever seen has at least a dozen more buttons than required. Why? Do the manufacturers believe more buttons will make their product look more high-end?
Be honest, do you use all the buttons on your microwave? Ever?
I used to love these in primary school… until I began using one regularly.
If you lose ONE SINGLE BULLET (capsule?) in there, you’re screwed. And forget about being able to keep track of that little cap for the eraser after your first day of using the pencil.
It’s this thing you hold that protects only your head and shoulders from getting wet. The rest of your body will get rain on it, do not let anyone fool you into believing otherwise.
Also, have you seen Mumbai rains? You always need to replace your umbrella before the season is out. Sometimes twice! It’s high time someone figured out a replacement for umbrellas.
Ordinary TV Interfaces
It is 2017, but the way we do television today is downright ancient. All television remotes have a lag. If you’re lucky, it’s a very short lag, but it’s still longer than you would tolerate on any other device. We tolerate it with television remotes because we’re used to it.
Also, there’s no search function in the guide! I might be ready to pay for a movie on demand if I could just search for it rather than having to scroll through a couple hundred options.
Even if there is a search function, the keyboard on the remote is still medieval rather than the QWERTY we use on all other devices.
Hand-held Shopping Baskets
Since the handle is in the middle, there is no way to hold the basket so that you can walk comfortably without letting stuff fall out!
I don’t know about you, but I can rarely plug in a male USB into my laptop on the first try. Usually, I have to flip that thing around thrice before it’ll go in! Also, it fits easily into the Ethernet port, which is usually right next to the USB port.
Sure, I can check if the little USB symbol aligns with the one on my device, but ain’t nobody got time for that!
I’m sure there are many more examples of bad designs we have adapted ourselves to. Have you ever used something that made you want to pull your hair out? Feel free to share your experience with us in the comments!
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.