Author Topic: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design  (Read 5679 times)

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GeekGirl

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Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« on: October 29, 2009, 10:32:55 am »
I think we need a section for BAD product design, so we can ponder on how we would do it better :)
 

Offline Neilm

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2009, 06:35:58 pm »
More cheap multimeters...
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. - Albert Einstein
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2009, 09:37:35 pm »
My stupid car has a warning light shaped like an engine. When the light came on, I had visions of engine problems and big $$$$, turns out this warning light is for the air system, so your air filter needs replacing! WHY chose that symbol?

Front loader washing machines you can't stop half way during the cycle to put extra clothes into or get out early to hang out because you are in a hurry.

My new Sanyo Xacti blog camcorder that has a 2.5mm external mic socket and USB connection only on the docking station, and then the USB socket it propriety anyway!

Dave.
 

Offline madworm

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2009, 12:02:49 am »
Top loaders aren't necessarily any better. You can't flood the place, granted, but internal 'intelligence' can still be annoying.

Mine has a few extra features:

- You simply can't (and I really mean can't) open the damn thing if it is any warmer than 30°C inside. Suppose you have it set to 40°C and want to add some more, nope. I could accept this for say 50 or 55°C, but not 30°!

- It tries to be user friendly and positions the filling port pointing upwards to the lid. As the clothing moves around, it has to shift it several times to get it to stay upright. This takes quite a while...yawn... I could do that with my bare hands in a few seconds.

- It's got the most insidious beeper you can imagine. BEEEP, BEEEEEEP, .... , BEEEEEEEEP, ... "Thank god it's over", ... BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP, ...... The intervals are so strange, you never know when it's really done with beeping.
 

GeekGirl

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 03:37:24 am »
My stupid product of the century is Tivo.

Now do not get me wrong I love my tivo, but it has a few annoying features.

#1 you can not slave them (if you have more than 1 you can not just set everything up on the master and it tells a slave unit(s) what to do)

#2 if you have shows you want recorded (it makes its own list based on what you like) say one show starts 19:30 - 20:00, another is 20:00 - 20:30 both on the same channel, it does not say hey I can just do one recording from 19:30 - 20:30 and use ONE tuner, no it has to do them as separate shows and use TWO tuners.

#3 it take soooooooo long to boot up, you have a power blip, it will take +10 minutes to get to a point where you can do anything with it :(

#4 the remote buttons are not very well de-bounced, if you do 3 quick presses of a button (say the fast forward to get to maximum forward speed) it will record this as 4 presses and drop back to play speed :(.......


(insert some of Dave's frustration quotes here)
 

Offline charliex

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2009, 05:49:01 am »
the thing that bugs me about tivo the most if that if you're watching  show thats not being recorded, but not live, and accidently change channel you lose it, or if you press a menu button it jumps to the end of the buffer.

mine is the iphone, takes ages to boot up, battery life is just awful, can't multitask properly ,when its checking email it lags so badly sometimes you can't answer calls, when you hold it upto your ear sometimes the buttons get pressed and it puts it in mute, or hold, sometimes ignores key input or lots of lag, poor levels of customisation, puts odd suggestions for words, keyboard doesn't always appear,  for some reason switches to caps mode after i press certain letters, poor antenna, when its mute some sound still play, sms notify keeps playing if you don't read (can't seem to turn that off, i'm hoping its me and ive missed the setting)., vibrate motor is really crazy when its on a hard surface, gets really hot after long usage.

then basic stuff like call black/white listing, why can't phones have programmable silent/normal modes, ie after 12am til 9am it goes automatically silent or quieter, with whitelist support.

obviously some of them are common to all phones, no ones designed the killer phone yet, given how many of them there are its odd.
 

Offline Mastro Gippo

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2009, 12:58:09 pm »
My stupid car has a warning light shaped like an engine. When the light came on, I had visions of engine problems and big $$$$, turns out this warning light is for the air system, so your air filter needs replacing! WHY chose that symbol?

That light means a generic problem occoured, I think they made it that way so you have to bring it to a dealer so you don't mess with stuff you don't know. Also, that way dealers can make a ton of money because users can't figure out what is the problem. Get a ScanTool, you'll be able to check a lot of things and even decode error messages yourself, then decide if you need to bring the car to a money vampire, or if you can just replace a 10$ air filter yourself.  ;)
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2009, 09:38:39 pm »
yea we need a section on bad product design, I find lots of stuff around me and would like to warn of them, and then its fun to discuss how it could have been done better
 

Offline Ferroto

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2010, 03:56:27 am »
i bought a chineese media player (video,music) and the plugpack for charging it has a MALE plug making it possible to short out the pack.
 

Offline DJPhil

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2010, 06:10:00 am »
i bought a chineese media player (video,music) and the plugpack for charging it has a MALE plug making it possible to short out the pack.

This reminded me of two things:

The wall wart for the old Atari 2600 ended in a male two-conductor 1/8" headphone jack! You can wreak some minor havoc by by plugging it in to random devices. I powered a few projects in my youth by wrapping wire around the plug and holding it in place with clay. In the interest of full disclosure I must shamefully admit I convinced my brother to put it in his mouth, but there was no permanent damage.

I can't find it at the moment, but I think I remember a blog mentioning upside-down wall plugs. My best friend is an electrician, and this has come up between us a few times. There are a few arguments on both sides, including the benefits and drawbacks of the outlet looking like a smiley face, and the result of something coming from above finding it's way between the outlet and plug. It seems there's been quite a debate over the last ten years or so in the US. It's presence or absence in an electrical code is not something I can verify at the moment, but it appears to have at least been considered at the Nebraska state level. Google 'outlet orientation' for a selection of further reading. In the end it seems that it may be a useful technique on a case by case basis, but there's no mandate here. The code in Australia may differ.
 

GeekGirl

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Re: Section of forum to talk about BAD product design
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 11:46:15 am »
I AM NOT AN ELECTRICIAN ;)

When I build my work benches in the lab I use skirting duct on the back of the bench, BUT I put the power points in UPSIDE DOWN so I can plug a plug pack in if needed (but usually I use a power board to bring power up to the equipment bench)
 


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