Saturday, November 1, 2008

Product Design Fail

There is no reason for me to regret my choice of profession but sometimes I wish I was a product designer because seriously how hard can it be to put one and one together to make something beautiful and functional? Obviously it seems to be very difficult as this experience shows.

For a while now I needed a new alarm clock. I wanted one that I could check at at night but that wasn't so bright that I was even more awake or even worse that it would wake my husband. So off we went the other weekend to come home with this -what we thought "fabulous" little projection alarm clock.
It had everything I desired. An FM radio so I could wake up to music and it projected the time on my wall at night or so I thought.

Because lets face it when you do wake up at night you want to go right back to sleep and you don't want to wake the husband. I want to reach for my clock. I want to hit a button. I want to see the time projected on my wall. I want to go back to sleep. Simple as that. BUT there is many things wrong with this alarm clock. So much so that it now resides in our kitchen instead of on my nightstand.

See if I had designed an alarm clock I would have made sure that the digits in the normal display actually dim noticeably when it gets dark. They don't. The display is so bright you don't need to project the time but they're so bright it keeps you from sleeping.

Also if I wake up and want to know what time it is, I don't want to fumble around in the dark to find the tiny button in the back!!!! of the clock that turns on the projector.

I also don't want to have to reach across the top of the alarm clock that holds the two infrared sensors that go off with a beep before showing you the alarm times. Why???

But that is not the worst of it. The part of the clock that you aim at the wall where it is supposed to project the time only turns at an angle of 120°. Which means I can only project it on the opposite wall and not the wall neares to my bed. Who was the idiot who designed that clock?

The hubby now got me this $10 alarm clock whose display is dark at night, which has a huge button on top that I can hit to project the time on any wall at almost any angle. Perfect I thought but it wasn't. The clock is absolutely fine apart from the fact that the display starts lighting up in bright blue when you hit the projection button. Jeeeeeeeeebus people I want to PROJECT the TIME on my WALL without being blinded by a bright light. Is that so hard to understand? Have you fancy, creative product designer folks never used an alarm clock? I guess not or else you would have noticed that all of you FAILED miserably. Usability = ZERO.

Well at least it does project the time as it should.

Well it isn't freaking rocket science guys! Back to your drawing boards you effing eejits.

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