Over the past years I’ve become increasingly tired with all the stupid and pointless limitations imposed on users by poor and incompetent design of consumer electronics. I’m not even talking about evil and devious schemes like vendor lock-in or planned obsolence. I’m talking about the little annoyances and flaws that make using a product the way it was supposedly designed for so tedious and counter intuitive.
For example, there’s certainly room left for debate whether the buttons of an internal PC DVD-ROM drive should be placed on the left or right sight depending on where most users usually place their PCs under their desks but it goes without saying that it should be placed above the tray instead of under.
While a lot of indicators might hint at a greater scheme – just take the odd abundance of devices with standby power instead of real off switches – I’d rather say the majority of tech flaws are caused by incompetence and greed which result in premature products being rushed to the market.
The idea that consumers fancy new devices now now now instead of well thought out products seems rather bewildering to me and I just won’t accept ‘costdown’ as reason for all the blunders out there. Corporations often seem to cut corners by putting all their money into advertising instead of having their prodcuts tested thoroughly by someone qualified to do so.
By qualified I’m speaking of an engineer’s 12 year old daughter who is more tech savvy than most adults these days anyway and why not let her play around with the new DVD player at home first to see what she comes up with in terms of usability? And even if there’s no money for kaizen, how hard can it be to go by best practice?
At the end of the day I find myself with a huge number of devices all of which have that little something annyoing about them. In my discussions with friends I’ve been frequently told to “lighten up, dude” which actually is what I’m doing by writing this blog instead of just putting up with it and throwing the junk out of the window!