Examples of bad design

Elmo Live. Oh, good Lord, pleeeeaaaaase help me!

When Elmo starts to tell a story, he sits down and crosses his legs, which makes him fall backwards. Then he says “Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

Then the child helps Elmo back up and he says “Thank you! You’re Elmo’s best friend!”
or, the child doesn’t help Elmo up, in which case he just keeps repeating “Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

Regardless, Elmo has now forgotten what he was doing before he fell down. So when the child helps him up, and presses his foot, Elmo tries to sit down again, falling again, and saying “Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

“Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

“Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

“Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

“Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

“Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

“Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

“Uh Oh, Elmo fell down! Can you help Elmo up please?”

Oh, good Lord, pleeeeaaaaase have mercy upon me!

Blue LEDs on bloody everything.

Especially things like monitors and TVs that the user spends time looking at.

Yes, blue is a pretty colour, but I don’t need an eye-searingly bright blue LED to tell me that the TV I’m actually trying to watch, is turned on.

Also, blue LED illumination of LCD panels is about the worst possible colour, in terms of readability.

I think blue LEDs are very cool technology. Back in the 1980s, when we only had red, green and amber LEDs, I craved blue LEDs. Now, I’m starting to despise them.

A funnel doesn’t work? :wink: That’s what I use in my steam iron. Or rather used. I hardly ever iron anything anymore.

I use a liquid measure cup measure, with the spout. Works great. Of course, the water opening on my iron isn’t that small, so maybe I’m just lucky there.

Those optical drive covers that Dell likes to build into their cases. You know, the ones that make the open/close button on the drive accessible when in the open position.

I don’t want to close the drive by pushing the tray like some doofus who doesn’t give a crap about its service life. Especially if it’s a lousy stinking Dell, because you can bet your sweet ass that they’ve done their best to make it hard to just drop a new one in there.

Actually, this post could have been limited to just the four letters, and that’d be fine.

Years ago we were given a coffeemaker. The on/off switch was a rectangular “rocker” button located along the bottom of the unit, under the carafe. Any time we wiped off the countertop, which was pretty often, we had to be careful not to hit the button and inadvertently turn the unit on.

If we did bump it, and didn’t notice the button had lit up, the unit would start trying to brew coffee, with no water in the reservoir. The heating coil would hiss and rattle, and we’d shut it off, but I’m sure its early death can be attributed to the poorly placed on/off switch.

Bad design.

…I don’t ride a motorcycle, but I have ridden many a bicycle, and just my experience from that tells me that this seems like a bad idea. I mean, I know the front brake has more stopping power, but using the back one gives you more control. Plus, only using one set of brakes puts more wear and tear on them, right?

…printed in helpful black on black.

Oh, and all this talk of remotes reminds me of something I meant to put in my first post.

My TV is black, it’s remote is gray.
My DVD player is gray, it’s remote is black.
My cable box is black, the remote is gray top with black bottom.
My other DVD player is gray, and it’s remote is white!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ll grab the gray remote to to do something with the DVD, or black one for the TV.

Now technically I can use the cable box remote as a universal one, but it never has all the buttons you need.

And being on the topic of DVD players, another bad design, though I don’t know if the problem lies with DVD players, or the DVDs themselves. But I hate it when you can’t find the remote to the DVD player, so you just decide to hit “play” on the player…only hitting “play” doesn’t work. The DVD and/or player want you to hit “enter” to play the DVD. Argh! You should always be able to play the fucking DVD from the controls on the front of the player…I mean, what’s the point of having them there if you still need a remote just to do the most basic of functions?! So either make the “play” button function as the same as “enter”, or make the DVD menu accept a “play” command as “enter” (or as just the command to play the DVD, crazy as that sounds,) or put an “enter” button on the player.

No. Maximum braking occurs when the back wheel is about to lift, thus it has no weight on it, and can’t contribute to deceleration.

Exceptions would be very long wheelbase two wheelers, like tandem bicycles and severely raked motorcycles (choppers). In this case the front wheel may not have sufficient traction to avoid skidding before the rear wheel starts to lift.

+1 to the panic button being right under your thumb (and somewhere that it can be pressed when the fob is in your pocket and you lean on something)

+1 to the design of toilets being impossible to clean - especially at the back of the seat where the bolts are (and all the pee is, if you have males in your house). What are you supposed to do, take the seat off every time you clean to get all the crud out of there? I know they have quick disconnect seats now, but most of them still aren’t that type.

Speaking of software, Excel and Word had, for the longest time, the Save icon right beside the Print icon. I have lost count of how many times I had to do a panic stop of a 50 page print job when I just meant to save it.

I have a measuring cup that measures a cup - filled right up to the top. Great, now I’ll just veeerrrrrry carefully carry this completely full cup of water over to my pot on the stove…

Oh, button placement!

I have an LG Shine. I like it for most things, except it sucks five hundred different ways for texting. Without enumerating the other 499 ways, I’ll just say that the “CLR” button is immediately adjacent to the “SEND” button, and they’re both .5cm membrane buttons. So if you want to correct a mistake, there’s a good chance that you’re gonna just send off an incomplete message. Even when you are conscious of it. Argh! (I think that providers may have lobbied for this, all those accidental $0.15 charges must add up after a while.)

The little TV/DVD/VCR combo we have has no pause button on the DVD controls. The remote is lost. Sheesh.

For all those who suffer the myriad problems of multiple, hard-to-use remote controls, i have just two words: Harmony One

This super cool universal remote control, while expensive, has excellently placed buttons (which light up every time you pick it up), a touch screen that lets you turn on any combination of up to 15 activities (such as “Turn on TV,” “Play a DVD,” “Play a CD,” etc. Once programmed, it will turn on every device necessary, pick the proper inputs, and you are off and running.

Greatest little gizmo I ever had. Now I have one remote that did what ten did before. It sits in a neat little cradle, so the battery is always charged.

Treat yourself.

Clamshell cell phones that have push-and-hold switches to turn the phone on and off. Push-and-hold switches are irritating enough, but what;'s the point when it’s a clamshell-style cell phone, and the likelihood of the switch being pushed accidentally when the phone is folded shut is non-existent?

Any electrical or electronic appliance that is designed to be placed on a table or counter (such as a clock radio or coffeemaker) which is both lightweight and has high-friction switches on the front. Push a switch or twist a knob, and the device is pushed back. You have to hold the device down to use any of the controls.

Isn’t that just a cup to measure dry ingredients? You know, put the flour in and level it off so it’s exactly a cup?

My kitchen faucet is the joystick type: left for hot, right for cold, away from you for maximum, and toward you for off. The problem is, if you adjust it for anything less than maximum, the weight of the handle itself brings it down, and the water shuts off.

I love my microwave, except . . . the area that contains the time is recessed. So in order to read the time you have to stand back 6 feet, or squat, or be very very short.

A route that I frequently travel contains a left turn. Just before the turn there’s a short curve to the right. If my left directional signal is on, it’s canceled by the right curve. Shouldn’t a left signal only be canceled by a left turn or curve?

I will never stop raving about my wonderful new Nikon D-90 camera. I feel like going back and re-taking every photo I’ve ever taken. But there’s one thing that bothers me: the built-in flash has “on” as its default. Which means, every time I turn the camera on, I have to remember to disable the flash. Shouldn’t I have to make an effort to turn the flash on, rather than off? (Very minor nitpick; I truly LOVE this camera.)

Surely it’s possible to design a toaster that doesn’t accumulate crumbs until it’s a perfect warm cockroach motel? Sure most can be got rid of with the dinky little tray at the bottom, and vigorous shaking over the sink, but not all. Why should that be necessary anyway, nothing else requires it.

In my Toyota car, it is absurdly easy to honk the horn without actually meaning to. Depressing any part of the central part of the steering wheel gives rise to an almighty ‘honk’. I like the car, but this one feature is crazy. Most of the time it’s just an annoyance, but on occasion it can be mildly dangerous as it might distract other drivers during a close manoevre or make them think I’m trying to indicate something that I’m not.

Yes, liquid measurement cups aren’t like that, for hte obvious reason.

Our work copier is the devil’s office machine. This is a copier for the great unwashed masses to use, mind you. It has a power save function. There’s a button to turn it on when it has power-saved itself to sleep. Unfortunately, that button just looks like a light, and nobody thinks to push it.

So you push the button, and the touch display lights up. Before you can do anything else, you have to tell it what you want to do and push the “Copy” button on the touch display.

IT’S THE ONLY BUTTON, PROBABLY BECAUSE IT’S A COPIER AND THAT IS GENERALLY WHAT YOU WANT THE COPIER TO DO. So you have to push the button that doesn’t look like a button and then you have to tell the copier that it is, in fact, a copier. And at that point your journey has only just begun.