Monday, August 2, 2004

Product incompetence

Watch Nightline's special (full version for purchase here) on Ideo, the innovative product design firm, and you will never look at another product the same; in particular the ones that suck. You will start to ask yourself questions like "Did anyone even use this product before shipping it?" or "Do these people understand what I need?"

I just went to the loo in my office of all places and had two of these experiences. First, the toilet paper. Actually this was an experience within an experience. The uber-experience revolves around the fact that the dispensers in this facility store two rolls of toilet paper but require "manual intervention" to advance the second roll (i.e. a janitor must unlock the box and drop the next roll down). Luckily if you're careful, you can still advance the toilet paper from the "hidden" roll by sticking your hand up inside the contraption and pulling at the dangling sheets VERY carefully. The lesser-experience of the toilet paper is "Why is the paper so stinkin' brittle?!?" I don't need cushy plush paper, but I would like to tug at the roll and have the option of getting more than one sheet at a time. Second, the faucets on the sinks. Everywhere these days had automatic this and that. I've even see automatic paper towel despencers (walk up an out comes two sheets). However, the automatic faucets are by far the most disappointing. You stand there looking like an idiot with your hands cupped under the faucet waving them back and forth with nothing coming out.

Who designs these things! I sure hope that these people have unresponsive faucets, pathetic toilet paper, and stupid toilet paper roll dispensers in every bathroom they visit. Maybe they'll learn to eat their own dog food before pushing it on me.

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