Published Jun 8, 2021 by Rick Cundiff
Funny how we take good design for granted, isn’t it? When something just works, we hardly think about it.
Take the small fan sitting on my desk, for example. It’s nothing more than a plastic frame, a motor and blades, and a cord. It works. Nothing fancy, it just works.
Look at the original (O.G., if you will) Bic “Stic” ballpoint pen. It’s cheap, disposable, forgettable. But it works.
On the flip side, sometimes things that should work, don’t. And usually bad design is to blame. And bad design costs sales.
I remember the vehicle my wife was driving when we met. It was stylish. It was an American classic, with a name that rhymed with “cheap.” (A trait not, unfortunately, reflected in either its purchase price or service costs.)
Now this particular beast had dual outside rearview mirrors. Simple devices, meant to allow you to see who’s behind you, or approaching on your flanks, right?
Well, on this particular machine, they worked perfectly – until you started the engine.
At that point, both mirrors vibrated so violently, they were useless. So we took it the dealer to have them adjusted. The dealer said they were functioning as designed.
Seems a little strange to me that something so simple, which had been a standard feature on most cars for about 75 years at that point, would be so badly designed. Especially on a vehicle that had been in production for nearly 50 years. But there it was. As designed. Nothing the dealer could do.
A couple of years later, we traded the beast in on something better. But I still couldn’t forget that one serious design fault. My wife and I have purchased 11 more vehicles since then. Guess how many came from that particular marque?
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