Product development is not an exact science – for many, it’s much more a creative quest. This often leads to the creation and sale of products that are either flawed by design or are, simply put, screwed up beyond belief. Some of the funniest design fails below involve everyday objects and good intentions, which doesn’t make them any less goofy – and often unusable.
Beverage holders in cars
Whoever invented the built-in beverage holders in cars was surely not a family man. These round holes perfect to accommodate your coffee cup or soda bottle seem to contain a junk magnet – everything from lint to change and crumbles seem to gather in there. And things are even worse if you have kids, too – they are well-known for filling any space with junk, after all. And the cup holders are fixed in place so that the only way to clean them is by using a vacuum cleaner. If you’re lucky, and no sticky goo has ended up in them.
On-screen keyboards on smartphones are seemingly invented to force you to write in typos. That’s because of the keys – or rather the on-screen representations of keys – are very small compared to the size of the average user’s fingertip. And don’t think that turning your phone sideways helps – at least not with the stock keyboard on Samsung phones. When you switch to landscape mode, the keys remain the same size – they are just further away from each other.
LEGO blocks have already gained fame as the most painful objects to step on when you’re barefoot. But they have something else to be proud of that’s not a flaw per se – the way they fit together. Perfectly, that is. Which makes them a pain to separate – so much so, in fact, that LEGO has created a special tool, the “Brick Separator”, to pull them apart. (It can be bought online at the LEGO Shop for $2.49)
Taps in the UK
This one is legendary and goes beyond logic – at least apparently, as there is a reason for the way they are constructed. Most visitors coming to the UK wonder why do they have separate taps for hot and cold water, while mixer taps are used pretty much in every other place with running water. It seems that this is the result of a mixture of regulations and tradition – hot water is usually considered unsafe to drink in the UK. But this doesn’t make washing your hands in hot water hurt any less.
Last but not least, there’s the seemingly immortal item that has driven generations mad already and will continue to do so in the future: heat-sealed packaging. It would be the perfect container to transport deadly virus samples as it is almost impossible to open without the use of a knife, a pair of scissors, an acetylene welder, and an atomic bomb.