Design Flaws that Ruined Great Gadgets

Design Flaws that Ruined Great Gadgets

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Taryn Williford
Mar 10, 2009

Popular Mechanics published an article featuring five smart gadgets that were ruinedruined!by stupid design flaws. Clearly, this was a link we had to post and share. We went inside expecting Hello Kitty cell phones or GPS navigators without screens or something, but found that this list featured gadgets that have minor flaws in their design and operation, a few of which you gadget lovers probably personally own and use daily...

What made the list? Why none other than the design innovations we know as a MacBook, the Nintendo Wii and BlackBerry Storm. Confused? Read on...

  • The most recent MacBook Pro features a razor-sharp aluminum edge below the keyboard where less-than-perfect typists are nearly slicing themselves into becoming emo kids.
  • The original Amazon Kindle has long, narrow page turn buttons located on the sides that make it easy to accidentally turn the page just when you were getting to the good part of Twilight (Is there a 'good part' of Twilight?). The new Kindle has since fixed this flaw.
  • Motorola's Razr 2 flip phone featured an exterior touch screen, which sounded awesome until you realized that the reason you bought a flip phone was to not have your pocket accidentally dial someone. Worse, the 'shortcut' buttons on the touchscreen could be set to go online—Holy data fees, Batman!—and for Sprint and Verizon users, a phone that was wired up wasn't getting any incoming calls or texts until the user realized their butt went online and that it already ordered them a new clamshell without a touchscreen.
  • The Ninteno Wii was meant to get kids (and some adults) active and off the couch, so getting a bit sweaty should have been an obvious and welcome result. This should have triggered the Wii's designers to not make their grip-less stick of a controller so damn glossy, but they probably knew the hilarity that would come with watching Wii-ers accidentally throw controllers into TV sets on YouTube videos for months later.
  • The first-ever touchscreen from BlackBerry, the BlackBerry Storm, was sure to kill the iPhone with it's screen that actually gave you a satisfying click when you used it. That was until they decided to make that click a necessary part of everything you do. To type a "S," for instance, required you to rest your fingertip on the letter "button," then wait for the Storm to highlight the "S," and finally click down to select it. With rocket-fast speeds, that might work great, but the Storm had a tendancy to lag. Bummer for all of you that needed to type "This Shit Sucks."
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