You Had One Job! Simple Things Tech Companies Got Wrong
By Ilan Nass, Fueled
Tech companies are growing and becoming more creative and innovative with their product designs. Unfortunately, some tech companies get a few simple things wrong that could easily be corrected. These tiny mistakes actually affect the overall use of the product. Some mistakes are more substantial and could be considered serious product defects. Other smaller mistakes are less significant in the overall design of a product and are just plain annoying.
Computers – Function Keys, Power Button, and Annoying Cracks
Computers typically run more efficiently than most other technological devices because they have such advanced technology and precise electronic capabilities. One of the biggest “mistakes” that computer designers make has to do with the function keys at the top of the keyboard. When you push “function” and “F9,” your computer will automatically shut down. It’s likely that you won’t accidentally push both of these buttons simultaneously, so this probably isn’t a huge issue. However, if you are working with the function keys and have it set so they work automatically, this can be a dangerous mistake. Now we know why we were always told to save every five minutes when working on an important project.
Some computers, desktops and laptops alike, have the power button located on a flat horizontal surface. This is more of an annoyance, but the power button placement can be an issue with pets. Cats in particular like to lie on laptop keyboards or walk around on top of desktop towers. If the power button is not covered or is very easy to get to, animals can easily turn the computer on or off.
Something MacBooks got wrong is in the very outside edges of the top and bottom pieces of the laptop. The top edge has little raised areas to provide separation between the two sections when the laptop is closed. This is a helpful addition to the computer’s design, but after repeated opening and closing, the raised areas often result in cracking the bottom piece’s outer edge. Again, this is not a huge issue in terms of usability or overall product function, but it is definitely an annoyance and hindrance in the overall design of the product.
All video game systems have their fair share of quirks and problems, but the biggest tech mistake is in the placement and design of power buttons. On Playstation 4, the power button is right next to the eject button, and they both require you to swipe your finger across them. Unfortunately, the labels for the buttons are incredibly tiny. Actually, it’s almost too tiny for a person to be able to see. Because of this, Playstation 4 owners will mistakenly eject their game disc or turn the power on or off when they meant to do the opposite.
The Xbox’s power button is illuminated and occasionally blinks when on. While the overall design of this is not a problem, the placement and glowing lure of the button attracts kids and animals to push the button. This results in games being turned off before completion, or more importantly, before saving.
Simple Solutions for Simple Problems
Several technological products have problems, both big and small. While these may come off as class “first world problems” to some, these problems do tend to dissuade potential buyers from purchasing these devices or buying from those companies again. These simple problems that have simple solutions could be easily fixed with a little additional attention from the tech companies who developed and designed the products.
Ilan Nass is the head of marketing at Fueled, the leading iPhone app builder in New York City, renowned for its award winning mobile design and strategy.