Product Design Peculiarities - trivial, yet irritating

Did you know that the angle of the rear window on a 2011 Nissan Maxima is aerodymically perfect…for dried-out acorn tops? If they fall down into the gap where the window meets the trunk, then when you drive, there is enough wind to whip them up so they rattle against your window, but not enough wind to blow them away, so when you slow down, they drop back into the gap, ready for another go? Design geniuses, they are at Nissan - and not something you’d think to check for during the test drive…but perhaps I should’ve since there is an oak tree over my driveway :rolleyes::mad:

Pickle relish in a squeeze bottle.


Oh, I have another one: extra-large bottles of shampoo…that are smooth and require a grip to open. Manipulating a heavy bottle like that works well in a wet shower where soap might be involved…not.

Some new Chevy’s are designed so you can’t use the navigation system or climate controls without the radio on. Same “power” button for everything. You have to mute the radio if you want to use any of the other controls and don’t want the radio on. Not the biggest deal, but Jesus Christ it’s stupid. I have had several cars designed in a way where the radio could be operated independently of the nav system, so I know it’s possible.

I asked at the dealership and they said it was designed that way. I offered that perhaps it was a “design flaw,” but they got all defensive about it.

I used to work for a very large company that made copy machines. They had a policy that if an employee came up with a really good idea, he or she would get a $20,000 bonus.

We had a color copier (very swanky in those days) where you could crop an image by touching a special pen to the upper left and lower right corners of the cropped area. The thing was, it was really inaccurate. It could be off by as much as an eighth of an inch.

My suggestion was to have a function where you could adjust your selection by, say, a millimeter at a time. Like a button that would move the left margin a tiny bit left or right. A tweak button, if you will.

Nobody that I explained it to understood what I was talking about. They finally connected me with the guy who designed the machine. Not only did he get defensive about it, he got offended that I would insult his baby!

Ah hah! This explains the recent rental Volvo I drove. I didn’t understand why there was no simple Power button for the radio, but rather a “mute” button. There was no nav system installed (of course) and I’ve never driven a car that had one, so this odd functionality made no sense at all.

Ignorance fought. Thank you!