Sunday, August 8, 2021

Terrible Industrial Design

Here's one of the worst examples of industrial design for consumer use I've had to deal with:

This faucet is what's called a single-handle centerset design. If you were to look up that type of faucet, you would find that most of them, at least these days, have long metal handles that are more like joysticks. It's fairly obvious what you're supposed to do with that handle (that obviousness is called affordance in the design field). You push it and something happens. With a little trial and error, you figure out fast that one direction makes the water hot and one makes the water cold. Even more obviously, the farther from the off position you push the handle, the more water comes out. 


From the looks of my search results, there are still a few single-handle centerset faucets available that have a plastic crystal-like doodad somewhat similar to this one, and that's bad for affordance compared to a joystick-like handle, but I think they generally still work by having you push on the crystal: back to turn it on, then left or right to make it warmer or colder. 

But in the case of the ugly piece of junk pictured here, you don't push the plastic crystal. Instead, you have to lift it straight up, and it takes some strength to do that from the awkward, low angle of the sink. I don't think an elderly person (say my mother in her declining years) could have done it. And when you manage to lift it, the water comes on full force. It's either fully on or fully off, no trickles allowed here.

It's nice to be home away from that sink.


Bill Lindeke said...

LOL I remember these. very 80s?

Daughter Number Three said...

That's about what I was thinking.