Product Pet Peeves

I HATE bathroom sink faucet design. I have somewhat larger hands and every time I wash my hands I literally have to shove them against the back wall of the sink bowl because the stubby little faucet only sticks out a few inches. There is a bowl that is about 14" deep, and you only use the 3" next to the back side of the bowl. So lame. Is it really that much trouble to extend the faucet out a few extra inches?

What are some other product pet peeves. Maybe people working on some products like these can fix some problems.

Yeah, that’s one of mine also.
And some stairs. They’re too short for those of us with larger feet. I always have to walk down them and literally step on the edge of the stair and rely on the grip of my shoes to keep me there. Or the ones that have an overhanging lip that you end up getting caught on while walking up the stairs.

Faucets are no good. They have enough room for hair to gather, but not enough for me to clean back there. The faucet sticking out and aiming down just makes it easier for me to accidently hit it.

Sinks always get dirty with mouthwash and toothpaste, why not have a separate faucet to “flush” the sink? I hate having to run the water until it reaches the dirtiness.

Replacing watch batteries.

My watches go dead until I have none left to wear (like today) and am then forced to address the problem. They all use different types of batteries, and you need to open the cases to even know what kind you need. You frequently need a special tool to open the watch. Stores frequently don’t carry the batteries you need.

Ejecting USB media devices.

It pisses me off that you have to click something in software before you can unplug a USB memory key, iPod, iPhone, CF Card, whatever… It would be a lot easier to just provide a blinking light, and if the light’s off, you can simply unplug it. Even the Mac forces you to drag removable media to the “trash” to eject it, which is just stupid.

Home Theater Switching.

If your parents visited your home, would they be able to successfully watch TV or a DVD? That’s what I thought. This is stupid, considering we all basically have similar needs and setups. Universal remotes are just a band-aid.

Blister packaging.

Good for pissing you off, cutting you, damaging the product inside.

Improperly balanced mice that tip to one side when you click.

Keyboard layouts, different positions and sizes for certain keys, esp the right shift, enter, \ and backspace. Sometimes I wish they were made to be user-configurable. Swap out the buttons and you like and just adjust the software accordingly.

There are many many things that I could mention, but mainly my pet peeves concern cars.
There is another thread here: Is it good design if it needs a protective case? regarding the durability of finishes on mobile media devices. I love a flawless glossy car as much as anybody. Hell, I took a 2nd mortgage several years ago just to build my fantasy garage / studio. My poor car sits out in the elements all day while I’m at the office. I can’t seem to keep it clean.
I have a cracked foglight lens. This is just a housing for a bulb. It is just barely elliptical with an ever so subtle flattened edge at the top. So I can’t find a generic round lens to fit. These foglight housings are asymmetrical as well, so I can’t replace it with a left one, has to be a right one, halving my chances at the junk yard. Naturally they cost way too much new.
Some appearance enhancing trim parts under the bumpers are particularly vulnerable to speedbumps or inclines. For some reason the right ones cost more than the left. Guess which side I just found broken this morning. :angry:

Phony ergonomics. Many powertool companies are guilty, but it seems lots of designers love adding ridges and finger grooves randomly to drawings without regard to whether they help or not. It’s as if COMMUNICATING ergonomics is more important than ACTUALLY BEING ergonomic.

Greenwashing. Just be environmentally friendly, don’t slap me across the face with it.

Mac keyboards. Sorry Mac fans, but they just can’t get them right. My WPM is probably halved by keys that don’t press or click right, and I have to use the delete key probably 5x more often.

Greenwashing. Just be environmentally friendly, don’t slap me across the face with it.

Amen to that! Having been on both sides though (as a consumer and feeling pressure from my employers to force the issue), I just can’t take it seriously anymore. I think people are ignoring or just tolerating it, knowing that its just false hype 99% of the time.
Look at hybrid cars: The nickel for a nickel hydride battery is mined in Canada and shipped via train to the Pacific, where it is shipped via cargo ship to Japan, back on a train to a battery factory, back on a train or truck to the car factory, onto another ship back to North America, then back on a train or truck to the dealer’s lot. The massive amounts of fuel used during manufacture is never factored into the fuel economy numbers.

Or COMCAST, my cable company, letting me sign up for the “green e-billing” initiative so as to not waste paper on bills, only to continue sending me updates and offers about their service in the mail.

That fact that it is still a point of advertising kind of sickens me. GM has the gall to market a hybrid Escalade… ooh that burns me. Talk about marketers running a company. The problem isn’t that it lacks a hybrid system, the problem is selling a 6000lb truck-based SUV to people who 99% of the time need to move just their person.

The crappy drink holder that came standard in my Subaru… it doesn’t hold a standard sized cup AND it’s located right above my stereo so any splashes land right on the front face of it! it’s terrible!

Pens that you can see the ink in them but they don’t write.

some things about the iPhone:

  • lag-time when I type.
  • The time when it lost all my images during an update - now I don’t trust it.
  • The battery going out.
  • being forced to use iTunes.
  • loosing signal
  • spell check putting in ridiculous and uncommon words


    Old poorly made CDs with design work from my university that are now un-readable

Cables of any kind attached to a product

the post office (is this a product?). I hate having to go there during their 9-5 business hours when I am at work

headphones that hurt/bruise your ears after a day of use

I second the green washing. Some maybe on the right direction but still far from being “green”. IMO it makes the general public assume they’ll help save the world just by buying that slightly greener product.

Or even that some products are green because it’s made of recyclable materials, even though they’re not using recycled materials themselves. If they’re going to boast how much recyclable the product is, then go the extra step and use recycled materials to begin with.

I have the same problem with bathroom faucet designs. I’d like a bathroom faucet like the fancy ones in the kitchen that are on a hose that one can pull out of the housing. I get hair all over the sink and surrounding areas from shaving and haircuts and whatnot, and this would make cleanup so much easier.


Toilet paper dispensers: why do I need to compress a spring inside the “axle” and try to slip in in the arms rather than simply swing open one of the arms on a hinge?


Sonicare toothbrush/brush head design: it gets moldy in there. Some drain holes would be nice.


Contemporary IC packages: sure smaller is better, but for hobbyists, prototyping, and proof-of-concept work, having larger components will save us developers time and money.


Messenger bags: the most un-ergonomical design. Solution: backpacks!


If I was at home, I could easily find 10 more things.

I agree with this one along with Clam shell packaging. There should never be a need for a tool to open a package. This also goes for CD packaging. Give me something I can open damn it!!! I avoid buying these all together as much as possible.

Buses. More of a system than anything.
On a route where they’re supposed to come every 15 minutes, they bunch up and 3 come in a row, then none for the next 45 min. And out of the 3, the one that’s standing room only, ultra crowded is the one that stops for you while the empty one zooms past. Then they play leapfrog but it’s the full one that keeps getting more passengers packed in.
And in chicago, right next to the door is a big block of ? where people can put there bags but it creates the ultimate bottleneck. Especially when the guy with the the shopping cart or lady with the baby carriage comes in and has to stay right there since there’s no other space. Then everyone has to try to squeeze past.
And then that’s not to mention just the regular folks that just want to stand right there since they’re not riding for long, just the worst possible bottlenecks imaginable! And that grocery space is rarely used, it would be much better suited as a spot to stand in, unless of course there are vital electronics, motors, etc…housed there.

One more thing about the buses. You don’t always get clear feedback indicators when you signal for your stop. When I was young, there was a strip you pushed and you had a physical response the bell sound. Buses where I am now just have a wire cord that you just pull as hard as you can and hope that it’s hard enough. The bell is barely audible so you have to look at the sign in front to see if it says “stop requested”.
I’ve seen so many of those wire cables broken off and just tied in a knot somewhere because people have pulled too hard trying to signal to get off.

The 3 Dudes Gone 3D drop down SolidWorks info-video currently running as the header on this page … . playing whenever your mouse is anywhere near it; instead of when your click the Play Now button.

???What are you talking about??? Oh, I see!
Dr. Skinny prescribes a dose of firefox and adblock plus!

This forum and most other forums, too many sub categories that most categories have minimal (if any) traffic because the topics are too specific