Design Fail

05/10/2013 § Leave a comment


As I get older in my old age I get very short with things. I don’t mean things & people in general, I’ve always gotten short with them, I mean things. Products. And I mean products that anyone might buy, rich or poor, so I’m speaking about products of average quality, or what should be average quality. And I don’t nessessarily mean quality of materials, I’m talking design.

These are failures that happen even after what is supposed to be some pretty extensive quality assurance testing, especially in the tech field. This is the product that causes my current ire:
mytouchThis is a T-Mobile-branded portable USB device recharger, I think the product line is called “MyTouch” or some such nonsense. I had a small Duracell recharger that I got a lot of good use out of, it was Well Designed, but too small, I needed something with more oomph, more amps, man. So the last time I was at my T-Mobile store picking up some screen protectors for my phone I noticed this thing and told the sales droid to put it in with my purchase. Bad descision. It has one major design flaw.

It looks and works great sitting on a desk. I wonder if that’s what the design team on this turkey was going for. Unfortunately that’s not a usefule feature in a PORTABLE CHARGER. The flaw is an obvious one too, I can’t believe this thing went through any quality control, it was probably made in China where I notice no one tasted the baby formula before it was shipped either.

This thing is most useful going with you somewhere out in the wide world. But the designers have thoughtfully added a really great feature; a charge meter, that is ok when you want to know how much charge is left in the thing. Actually, its really only useful for telling you if it has charge or not, I can’t imagine four LED’s can tell you much beyond “yes” or “no” charge in a recharger. I guess knowing that its approxiately half-charged is ok. To activate the meter you press on the top of the case. It doesn’t take much effort either for the pressure of a pocket inseam, netting of a backpack, or papers of a breifcase, to activate the damn thing. ANY PRESSURE ACTIVATES THE METER. Meaning by the time you get around to needing a recharge on the road its already been DEPLETED BY THE CONSTANT ACTIVATION OF THE NEARLY USELESS METER.

Its less than worthless, a portable recharger thats always needing to be recharged. The only way to avoid the constant depletion of this stupid gadget is to leave it alone on your desk at home, encased in acrylic, safe from the harm of the real world. This could easily have been eliminated with the addition of an on/off slide switch, which would prevent the meter button from activating the meter and depleting the charge. Thus I bestow upon the T-Mobile MyTouch USB Portable Charger design fail of the year.



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