Thursday, September 14, 2006

Usability 101

I don't have to have my masters in HCI at Georgia Tech yet to know user-unfriendly design when I see it.

I was using Lauren's rather expensive Bissell Cleanview PowerTrak Revolution Deluxe vacuum cleaner last night and today, and let me tell you -- for over $200, that thing should be usable. Oh, it cleans fine, and it's got this red light/green light feature that lets you know when your carpet is still dirty or clean, respectively. But the cord is in the wrong place! It's on the right side of the vacuum, which means that, if you're right-handed, you've got a lot of unnecessary fiddling with the cord to do. I guess it's great for Lefties. But what Bissell and other vacuum companies ought to do is either make two versions of each vacuum or come up with a portable cord case thing. OR put the cord in the back and centered.

Anyway, I just thought I'd mention it because it's those little things in life that sometimes feel like they matter the most. Annoyances here and there that, when you live with them for a long time and then have a chance to live without, you're amazed at how much more relaxing life becomes!

The opposite is also true. For example, who knew I would be so thankful for a dry refrigerator? Well, in my apartment, the fridge leaks all over the food. So I open the fridge doors to soggy egg cartons and small puddles. I have to keep my containers perfectly level until I get to the kitchen sink, where I can dispense of the water, but inevitably, some of it always spills onto the floor. It's absolutely rudiculus.

Anyway, something that I am thankful for: perfect weather.


Blogger Lexia said...

Sometimes I would like to be an Industrial Designer. I would redesign my printer/scanner, radio/clock, and come up with an attractive yet ergonomically correct office chair.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, what IS it with our fridge? I concur. And I can't, for the life of me, figure it out.

8:17 PM  

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