Usability stuff combined with Friday fodder

Subject: Usability stuff combined with Friday fodder
From: "Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2006 09:56:12 -0600

A friend forwarded me a link to this site, which contains a host of bad
product designs. Many of the problems are solved with a simple bit of
documentation or with a tech writer being involved at the product design
phase (how's that for getting in a tech writer tie in?).

My favorite one is labeled "There's coffee on your nose." It shows the
bad design of an insulated commuter coffee mug. I can identify with this
one because I had a similar type of covered mug that I dubbed the
"dribble glass." No matter how careful I tried to be, I would spill
coffee on myself with that mug every time I used it. I finally figured
out that the hole where the liquid came out of was slightly off from the
ideal location, creating a bit of a lip on the inside of the lid. When
you had consumed most of your drink, you had to tip the mug farther than
usual to get the remaining liquid to come out over the lip.
Unfortunately, as soon as you tipped the mug far enough, liquid came
gushing out through the entire diameter of the hole. (That particular
mug is now in a landfill somewhere.)

Happy Friday!


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