10 Product Designs That Drive Me Crazy

We design digital signage software that helps managers communicate with their employees.  We constantly strive to make the software as easy and intuitive to use as possible.  So it drives me crazy when I see products that aren’t well designed, and figured I’d vent a little about that today.  In no particular order, here are 10 things that drive me crazy:

1. Those ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs for hotel doors that never stay on the door knob.  With all the engineering horsepower at the major hotel chains, it’s amazing that not one of them has figured out how to make them stay on the door.

2. 1-800 customer service lines that ask you to “enter your 15-digit account number” which you have to scramble to find.  And then when the rep finally answers the first thing you’re asked for is…. your 15-digit account number.

3. 2-foot long receipts at the supermarket.  Do they also own a paper mill?

4. Plug-in type light bulbs that fit so tightly in their sockets you can’t get them out without squeezing really hard, breaking the bulb in the process.

5. Plastic “clam” packaging for consumer products that you need scissors or a sharp knife to get open.  And then it’s STILL hard to open without damaging the contents.

6. The plastic containers that AA and AAA batteries come in, that just don’t reclose properly.  After you take out the first few, the rest end up scattered in the drawer with all the other junk.

7. Bottles of water at the convenience store with that little sideways tab you have to rip off that makes it impossible to open without spilling at least some of the water.  On your light colored pants.  Right before an important customer meeting. (Yeah, been there, done that.)

8. Red traffic lights that make you sit there when there are clearly no others cars anywhere around.  You KNOW the technology exists to solve this problem… why hasn’t it?

9. Wobbly restaurant tables. Can’t someone invent a universal solution for this common problem?

10. The little tubes that fall off WD-40 spray cans.  I end up buying more WD-40 for the tube, way before the contents are gone.  Maybe that’s the idea?

So there’s my list.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.

I feel much better now.

Frank Kenna III
April 1, 2015

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