11 horribly designed everyday products that need to be reinvented
But plenty of them do - on a daily basis.For every perfectly crafted Dixon-Ticonderoga pencil, there's a shampoo bottle that will never get completely empty.
Here are the products we've been using for decades that - somehow - have withstood any semblance of innovation.
Umbrellas have existed since the 1st century AD, but the common collapsible variety is awfully flimsy when the going gets rough. Many turn inside-out or simply fall apart during heavy rainstorms.
Even if you're meticulous about squeezing a tube of toothpaste from bottom to top, you'll still end up with a maddening bit at the end that you just can't use. The person who solves this problem should earn a Nobel Prize.Advertisement
Same goes for soap and shampoo bottles, which use compressed air to dispense their contents. That mechanism fails miserably once the bottle gets too low, and you're left with wasted soap every time.
You know a product's packaging is poor when a new affliction — "wrap rage" — is invented just to describe the god-awful process of opening it. Plastic containers are nobody's friend.Advertisement
The mixed-temperature faucet was first patented in 1880. But somehow in the intervening 136 years, nobody has designed a standard model that extends far enough to allow you to wash both hands without hitting the back of the sink.
The quickest way to make someone look like a doofus is to install ambiguous handles on public doors. No matter whether you push or pull, you somehow always end up being wrong.Advertisement
Automatic hand dryers seem like a good idea in theory (and some, like Dyson's Airblade, actually get the job done). But often the machines just blow air onto your hands without really drying the dampness. And good luck if the motion sensor is weak.
Plastic wrap may preserve your food, but unless you handle it perfectly, you're apt to find yourself dealing with a bunched-up nightmare. The only salvation is the two cardboard tabs on each box that keep the roll in place.Advertisement
Given what we know about toilet bacteria, it's astounding that most household toilets still use a handle rather than a foot pedal or automatic flush. Plus, one flush can send several gallons of water down the drain — a staggering waste considering the billions who live without clean water around the world.
Computer printers use expensive cartridges and require huge drivers just to perform the basic function of making a digital item physical. Many are also bulky and made of non-nature-friendly plastic, despite designers having had 30 years to iterate.Advertisement
Smoke detectors, if falsely triggered, are maddening to silence. Many models don't have a button you can press to mute the siren, which leads you to stand on a chair and remove the batteries entirely (not to mention forget to put them back in).
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