Quality of Design and Products

Has anyone other than me spent more than usual amounts of time standing in line to return crappy quality products during the last few years? I have experienced a rash of products (electronics / toys / etc.) that were either poorly assembled or designed and simply did not work!!

I could point a finger at production in China, because most of the products were manufactured there, but many of the problems were design related. Then I need to point the finger at us.

Examples: I bought a air-pressure toy rocket for my daughter. It looked like a very cool toy that shot up 150 ft. The first one didn’t work at all. We returned it to Target and the next one only worked twice, then stopped. As I was returning this one I noticed the woman in line ahead of me was returning the same thing!!

Another example: I bought a pair of Phillips headphones that were so poorly designed they actually started cutting into the top of my head!!

As a designer, I can attest to the pressures exerted by our customers to bring a product to market quickly. Their product development schedules are insanely short. We actually sell products off renderings and then crash the whole program (including tooling) in about 4 months. The first thing that seems to drop from the schedule is testing.

My question: Do other ID people see this trend towards ultra-fast time-to-market and the down-stream flaws that are surfacing?

…tom peters calls it ready/shoot/aim…some estimate that up to 18% of sales for a given product can be lost by being a few months later to production, so as long as returns stay below 18% the manufacturer thinks it is a win…seems wrong to me on many levels…

I experience these pressures in one form or another every week.

:)ensen.

I bought this Motorola A30 camera phone, from my service provider… I had for 2 weeks it is the worst have I have ever used… It new to the market, and the ads are going around for it right now… I guess I had a week to return it, and I didnt so I am stuck with a 300 dollar piece of crap…

I bought cause I liked the design… I splits open on the side and has a full keypad and internet acess and all this other crap… That stuff works fine… It has the worst reception ever, everything sounds like it is underwater…
It is a cell phone its NUMBER 1 GOAL should be to make calls… I am not sure if they tried to add to many feature or what…