As an IT freelancer I spend my spare time between projects on small jobs for SOHOs in my area. This does not only require configuring their Internet access, LAN and servers but occasionally involves buying and setting up stuff. So when I was asked to install an inexpensive analog corded phone (and a fax machine, more on this in my next article) on short notice, I just stopped by at the next retail chain’s store and bought according to specs skipping previous research and product comparisons. I wish I hadn’t, as it turns out the Euroset has an unexpected flaw:
one has got to press OK to confirm the number dialled!
Being used to phones I simply hooked it up, dialled a number, lifted the handset to my ear and waited for the call to get through but nothing happened. I tried it a few times checking chords, power and number in the process but to no avail. Of course I didn’t expect anything to be wrong with my method of dialling, after all that’s the way I’ve been doing it with all the phones around me over the years, that’s how it is supposed to work, right? Wrong!
I hadn’t taken into account the ingenuity of the Siemens engineers when it comes to breaking usability and coming up with new and exciting ways to improve best practice. As explained in the manual one has got to dial the number, press OK and only then lift the handset (and – for whatever reason – wait two secs) before the call is made! Of course they didn’t pay attention to consistency. When you want to use the speakerphone instead, you simply dial and press the loudspeaker button skipping the OK button entirely. Now where is the sense in that (assuming of course this is a criteria in the development process)?
Dialling with the handset on the hook you can easily add pauses, R-key functions or correct ciphers and then lift the headset thereby confirming your choice of making the call. Why the heck is it required to give an extra confimation with the OK button ()? Needless to say the ladies at the reception were less than thrilled having to adapt to the weird way of Siemens engineer thinking to get on with their calls.
Siemens Euroset 5035: OK by me… NOT!