Monday, October 16, 2006

Bad Design

Bad design just drives me crazy.

I don't mind "maturing concepts," you know, obvious incremental changes in a thing until it becomes viable or usable.

What drives me crazy is stuff that is sold as a complete solution but obviously didn't get any more thought than napkin sketch after a few beers at a bar.

Like, for example, my cube coat hanger. This is a heavy piece of metal in the shape of well, a coat hanger, except the top is bent sideways. The design is to hang the garment on the thing and hang the metal hanger on the cube's top edge. Sounds like it would work, right?

But it doesn't. First of all, the cube walls are slightly rounded at the top. The rubber strip that is wrapped at the top of the hanger is supposed to grip the top of the cube wall. But if you put something heavier than say, a cotton T-shirt, the non-gripping rubber slides right off the wall, dumping my garment on the floor.

Now, I usually put my coat on the hanger. It's a bit heaver than a t-shirt. And I also put my trash can just outside my cube, unfortunately just below the hanger. Today my jacket and hanger slid off the top edge of my cube and ended up in the trash. Just on top of my unfinished breakfast. What a mess.

Why kick the man downstream who can't put the parts together because the parts really weren't designed properly. -Philip Caldwell