Cool!!! ....Bad design.

Anyone have an example of a recent product with a lot of hype, but once in the user/customer’s hands was deemed a failure?

Transportaion: BMW I-Drive: new concept but ended up being very confusing.

These examples may be further researched for a Business Magazine.

Thank you.

how about these examples (some not so recent)
Food: those orbitz drinks by clearly canadian that had floating little jelly blobs
Clothing: those hypercolor shirts that were heat sensitive and would change colors. (ended up with a lot of people with different colored armpits)

  • HDTV. Enough said.
    Segway: Tied with HDTV as the overhyped product of the decade
    Palm: Not as pervasive/profitable as everyone assumed
    Minidisc: Will Sony just please kill it?
    Internet delivery services: Webvan, Cosmo
    Macromedia Flash: Still a small niche despite its coolness
    Java: Always on the verge of a comeback…
    Paperless office: there’s more than ever
    Leisure time: Technologies failed promise (and yet I still see those awful ads promising time on the beach instead of the office…)
    Design-on-demand: Nike and Levis played with it, but it never caught on the way everyone said it would
    Modular Products: Never caught on, but designers keep pushing it…

More here:

Conclusion: Japanese are genius!!!

N-gage was a big failuire and a big joke and a product that people loved to hate. Here’s a parody site that illustrates the ridiculous user interface/social gesture required by the gaming mobile phone.

I hope you’re joking about these two examples.
the minidisc is HUGE overseas, ie Japan and Asia. Just because it’s not big in America, doesn’t mean it’s a failure.

I would disagree with you on Flash being a failure too.

Embarassingly goofy icon of the 90s-- maybe. Bad design-- not really. This was a fun and new clothing concept (interactive clothing) and became an object of desire in my middle school, so I don’t see that as “bad design.”

That site officially made my day. Thank you!

As for things that failed…

-Nintendo’s Virtual Boy
-Sega Saturn
-Hybrid Vehicles (so far)

All i can think of is video game related for some reason haha, anyhow, I will try and post some more recent things when my mind clears a little :slight_smile:


How many albums do record labels release in Minidisc format these days?

How many Flash-based sites do you regularly visit?

Both are cool. Both failed to live up to their promise.

MD was big in Asia because people can record songs from CDs and not worry about shock and what not. I agree that it was not that successful, but I never thought it will be big anyway.

I am waiting for MP3 players to become more affordable.

Please look out of your backyard, I didn’t say Minidisc was big in “America”
(though the previous owner of mini-disco (now kidrobot) might disagree)
Even though cd’s are more prevalent you can still rent/buy albums and singles on MD in Japan. However like recordable media here their main market is for ‘taping’ things. With net MD the whole process has gotten faster and more streamlined. Plus compared to freakishly expensive MP3 players and ipods, MD’s are a good and economical alternative.
(though mp3 playing cd players are even better in this respect)

I might be wrong but Flash seems to be almost ubiquitous on many of the ‘cool’ websites that I have visited or regularly visit. If it is not the whole site that is flash many contain elements of flash (that you may have mistaken for animated gifs.) ask yourself how many times you’ve seen those “skip intro” button at the splash page of a site…they’re everywhere.

I have many flash sites bookmarked, not just for their originality and novelty but since many of them offer interface capabilities only dreamt of in regular html (even with css).
(even the new kinder egg marketing campaign utilizes flash
as does a number or band websites like linkin park etc)

I won’t list them all but some flash places I (an many many others too) regularly visit or have encountered are:

and countless of those viral flash promotions.
such as that penguin baseball game, the badgersong animation, etc

saying flash is underused, over rated and “niche” is like saying photoshop is only used by a few hobbyists. :unamused:

BTW cg
I’m not trying to pick a fight
these forums do not have the best tools for expressing tone of voice and sarcasm etc