I remember a court case was active a few months back claiming monkeys (chimps?, some sort of simians) deserved some sort of rights. I guess the plaintiffs won although at the time the chimps had refused to testify.
It seems like many, perhaps most, of the products I buy these days have one or more very obvious and stupid interface designs. By interface designs, I mean the aspect of the product that you interact with.
I'm not claiming to be any user interface genius. On the contrary I'm just a user who hopefully has a little commn sense. In most instances of stupid design there are other products out there that don't have these flaws. And in most instances it doesn't appear that the stupid design has saved any money. At least not in manufacturing although I'll admit the companies must be saving money on design and user interface testing salaries.
Products I've recently bought with stupid design issues:
1 - 2015 Subaru Outback
Let me start with I do like the car. Okay so that's done with.
The key lock.
Not for the 2015 Outback. First unlock and the driver's door unlocks. So far so good. But then nothing. Can't unlock all the doors with the key. So your passenger has to wait for you (perhaps in the rain) to open the door and hit the door button. How hard or costly would it have been to implement if driver door unlocked unlock all otherwise unlock driver door?
Even stupider (go ahead criticize me on that one). When you lock the driver's door, it only locks the driver's door. Now who in their right mind Ok'ed that one? Be nice if Subaru could explain that one. Yep most people want to have a locked driver's door while leaving the other three doors unlocked.
The power windows
There are other small annoying things like they give you the ability to alter when the headlights automatically come on. Except the range is pretty limited so even at the most sensitive setting they don't come on when it's dark and rainy. Given that having the headlights on when the wipers are on is the law in many states now, why not just do that?
Subaru designers. Do you actually drive the cars you design?
2 - Bosch Dishwasher
The racks are a terrible design. The Germans must use smaller dishes. We use those inexpensive Corelle dishes (which are breakable by the way). So they ought to be pretty common. They don't fit anywhere without rubbing against the sides of the lower rack. I can barely fit a sandwich plate and coffee cup saucer side by side. Why? Well the direction of the tines means from left to right, plate, plate, utensil basket. Why not like my old dish washer rotate them so you have the entire front to back width for your plates? Or put the utensil rack in the back for the same advantage?
Only one set of tines on each of the top and bottom racks fold down. All the tines are slanted and packed so close together than a standard pie plate doesn't fit. My old thin steel FarberWare pots won't go between these slanted tines.
There is no off button. If you forgot something and you want to restart, you can do it. just go find your manual to figure out which of several buttons need to be simultaneously pressed and held to do this. So Bosch, having an off button would have broken the bank?
There are other little annoyances like it is hard to pour in the Jet Dry, it is hard to open the door without water splashing all over the place. And it never, ever actually gets the dishes dry. Even though it runs about an hour longer than my previous dishwasher (which I should have gotten fixed instead of listening to that consumer mag telling me this was a good model and my old one was old enough that it was time).
3 - Oster Toaster Oven
What can I say? The marvel of modern electronics. Instead of that nice little mechanical dial that for decades graced the control panel of toaster ovens I now get to push buttons to set it digitally. Except for two things. The button is hard enough (not that it is very hard) that you push the unit around (it being light enough) whenever you push a button. And the settings don't allow the fine tuning like that simple little dial did. I have two choices. Under toast my english muffin so it is still slightly doughy. Or set it up by one so that at least part of it is now black.
The rack is easy to slide out so you can pick up that muffin without touching a hot oven surface. You just need to be careful to not slide it out very far at all. Or be prepared as the rack tips up and stuff is falling all over your counter.
So manufacturers. I'll pay another couple bucks if you will start making this stuff usable. Really I will. LG. Your washing machine estimated time is useless. It is usually takes a good 25% more time. Although to its credit it sometimes takes less time. And it would be nice to be able to actually hear the done signal one floor up when the wash is actually done. And Samsung. Stop annoying me with crap I don't want to be notified about on that stupid phone and let me remove the 75-80% of the stupid apps I have never used.
And before you think I'm just impossible to please, I really like my Uniball 207 pens. For years now. I replace the chains, brakes, and occasionally a set of gears on my 13 year old Co-Motion bicycle and it just continues to work and work well.
So designers. If you need close to 1000 pages of instructions (the Outback combining main manual with the others like the info display etc), you need to reconsider your interface. If people can mostly use the product without that 1000 pages, you probably have a decent design. If you have not lived with your product for awhile before it goes to general production, you should.