9 product design nightmares

4) Animal antics

Pets make asses of us all in the end. Never is this more true than in the trash we purchase to make them happy. Very few products actually enhance the lives of our furry friends and even worse some of them make us wonder why the potential buyers bought animals in the first place. 

And so we come to the cateogory of products aimed at animal lovers. If indeed you've become bored of your pooch and these days just want to ignore it, why not invest in an iFetch (£123.99). Rather than expending energy on tiresomely bonding with your animal companion by playing ball games, just pop this machine on the floor and let it do the bonding for you. Now all that remains is to put granny in a home and send the children to boarding school and never again will you have to care for another living thing. You monster.

And so we move from a moderately effective animal entertainment tool to an utterly embarassing one which never saw the light of day. Droppi aimed to keep your pet entertained at home by, you guessed it, dropping things. We wish we could have been a fly on the wall for this eureka moment. Needless to say the Kickstarter project only raised a tiny fraction of its barking mad funding target.

5) Pretending to be fun

The world is not a fair place - this is fact. Sometimes life will be an unpleasant grind which you won't enjoy because that's just how it is. 

The world of products has forgotten this basic axiom. According to it, sanitary towels aren't an awkward necessity, they're the fun thing that help you skydive! Too many ideas scream Tina Turner on the outside when they're actually Theresa May on the inside, and it makes us hate them. A lot.

Which leads us to one such malicious deciever, the HAPIfork. HAPIfork is an eating aid which monitors the rate at which you're guzzling food and tells you if you're eating too quickly, as well as providing charts and graphs so you can obsessively mointor the time interval between forkfuls.

It sounds about as much fun as a date with a tax return, but watch the video - everyone seems absolutely overjoyed about a smarmy piece of cuterly telling them they can't manage one of the simplest bodily processes alone. It even has the gall to suggest that you can 'play with your family' to see which one of you is indeed the most miserly with their rate of consumption. Never have dinner table metrics tasted sooooo gooooood!

6) Not knowing your stuff

Doing your homework is vital. You can't expect your customers to have confidence in your product when you haven't established its capabilities yourself, that would be madness. Or would it?

Welcome to the domain of crowdfunding, where the above sin is committed enough times to have half the world on their knees saying hail Marys for a month. Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects have blurred the lines between the world of the actual and potential by letting money-laden fleshbags spend cash on products that don't actually yet exist. Some projects have the details all worked out, while others are... less clear.

Take the Cool Fat Burner on Indiegogo, a cross between a fridge and a beanbag (we think the Freenbag would be an altogether more appropriate name) which claims that it allows the wearer to lose the equivalent of an African elephant from their waistline without moving from sofa. The funding page itself describes the CFB as 'the world's first and only proven brown fat, calorie burning cooling vest.' Notice the use of the word 'proven' as in 'fact' as in 'known'. 

Scroll further down the page and the use of the word 'proven' seems somewhat less prudent. The project is also asking for funds to conduct university studies into the effects of the Cool Fat Burner on the human metabolism, in spite of the fact that at the top of the page it tells backers that it 'allows you to burn hundreds of calories an hour while you sit and lounge'.

Either someone needs an English lesson explaining what the word 'proven' means, or someone's nose was growing longer with every press of the keyboard. We decline to suggest which one is more likely.

1
2
3