View Full Version : Badly Designed Things....

22nd Apr 2005, 21:21
Having completed a most satisfying set of 'number twos' at a motorway service station I was horrified to find that the toliet paper could not be unfurlled from the roll!

This was because there were three rolls inside the holder (as designed) but they were causing friction on each other and thus making it difficult to turn which was compounded 100% by someone using toilet rolls which were about 0.005mm to wide. This made it impossible to turn (although the problem was overcome thanks to some dextorous finger movements*)

In a country that has designed so much - especially (insert favourite choice here) - how can anyone possible come up with such a stupid design for a toilet roll holder with so little design tolerance.

Good design is both a skill and an art - have we lost both?

..or is it just me?


*by putting my hand inside the holder and rotating - very slowly - one of the rolls

Ascend Charlie
22nd Apr 2005, 22:08
In the late 60s, the RAAF took on a new tender for the supply of toilet paper.

Workers came in and unscrewed the roll holder and installed metal boxes of ominous design. Into it went cardboard boxes filled with interleaved squares of shiny paper.

To clean up a task required a fistful of these squares, which, by their very shiny design, didn't clean but merely smeared the area.

The end result was that the RAAF saved a lot of money on poo paper, because people bought their own soft rolls and carried them into the loo. Some accountant probably got promoted. :bored:

tony draper
22nd Apr 2005, 22:28
Somewhere in the world there is the standard Metre and the standard Kilogram by which all other are calibrated, one wonders if there exists somewhere the standard arse.
We Englishmen do not require such fripperies we carry our standard around with us,the inch is the length of a mans thumb, last joint to tip,the yard the length of a mans arm shoulder to finger tip ,and the foot ? well one did say Englishmen.

Howard Hughes
22nd Apr 2005, 22:46
Badly designed things?

Definately pantyhose and tights with only one entrance? But we've already covered that subject sufficiently I think...

Cheers, HH.


22nd Apr 2005, 23:05
Come to where I work and I'll show you some badly designed ATC procedures...

Speaking of work, we've got new chairs. They are adjustable in an infinite number of ways, the bit you put your arse on is made from black webbed nylon (presumably to let the farts out) and they cost in the vicinity of 500. They are, without doubt, completely shite.

They are over-designed. In an attempt to make them fit everyone, they will satisfy no one as it will take the best part of one's rostered duty time to get the damn thing 'just right'. There was nothing wrong with the old chairs. You can move them up and down and the back reclines through about 30 degrees. They have a foam seat covered in cloth and I would wager cost a damn sight less than 500. Apparently, they will have to go as you can't adjust the armrests. As our arms tend to rest on the sector consoles, non-adjustable armrests are of no concern whatsoever but I've no doubt there is some European directive out that we have to comply with.


Howard Hughes
22nd Apr 2005, 23:12

Your new chair would probably be OK, if it could be programmed to remember the seat position for each individual ATCO!!

But of course then it probably would have cost a thousand quid.

Cheers, HH.


22nd Apr 2005, 23:30
Being one who spends around 3 nights a week in hotels, the one thing that REALLY gets me is those silly little pedal waste bins in the bathrooms. :mad:

The principle of operation is that you press on the foot pedal to open the bin. It doesn't. Try again. You press a bit harder - no, obviously not quite hard enough. The lid stays firmly shut.

Stamp on the pedal - the bloody thing still doesn't open - instead it leaps forward and cracks you on the shin.

Years I've "bin" doing that.... :rolleyes:

22nd Apr 2005, 23:41
Shy, sweetie,

those "bins" are designed for women. You are genetically predisposed to being incapable of operating them successfully.



23rd Apr 2005, 00:05

Of the same ilk,so why aren't all hotel bedrooms standardised, bathroom on the same side when you stagger out of bed in the middle of the night wanting to take a pee? Over the years this has caused me many bumped heads and worse.

23rd Apr 2005, 00:19
candoo arranged electrons thusly:
Why aren't all hotel bedrooms standardised, bathroom on the same side when you stagger out of bed in the middle of the night wanting to take a pee?

Adjacent rooms are mirror images so the bathrooms adjoin - saving on plumbing costs.

23rd Apr 2005, 05:09
Ascend Charlie,

Well do I remember those infernal bum non wipes. One discovered that if you turned the paper over and used the rough side (worse than 0 grade sand paper) it would almost work.:\ :\

23rd Apr 2005, 07:55
the RAAF saved a lot of money on poo paper, because people bought their own soft rolls and carried them into the loo. Some accountant probably got romoted.
Sounds like the UK Health Service.

Pay once in taxes, pay again when you go private to avoid an enourmous wait.

On topic......just got a new telly.

Buzzes loudly.

Doesnt show which channel its tuned to.

AV channel button is tiny.

Reverts to BBC1 after playing the VCR.

Goes to standby 5 mins after blank screen.

Headphones plug doesnt cancel speaker sound.

Headphone volume only adjustable via lengthy menu process.

What happened to simple, straightforward, commonsense operation?

23rd Apr 2005, 08:11
>those "bins" are designed for women. You are genetically predisposed to being incapable of operating them successfully.

Which part of me is incapable, then? My foot? Would it help if I tried wearing high heels or fluffy slippers?

An' another thing - those orange juice cardboard cartons. How the hell are you supposed to "tear" the so-called "spout" open without soaking the opposite kitchen wall with juice? I use scissors these days, just as if the so-called perforations weren't there, so why do they bother?

Talking of perforations, why is the perforated area of postage stamps the strongest bit? I often end up sticking two halves of a stamp on my letters. Don't get me going on car tax disc licences - they are the bloomin' same but more expensive to replace... :(

23rd Apr 2005, 08:22
Perforated stamps! You mean you dont have self adhesive ones?

Evening Star
23rd Apr 2005, 09:18
... anything made by Microsoft.

Would not surprise me to find out if they had a hand in the toilet roll holder described by Navajo8686.

23rd Apr 2005, 09:52
This monitor is pretty crap;after I type something in, I have to go round to the back of it to see it.:confused:

23rd Apr 2005, 10:25
Whilst the human body overall seems to be overall a rather overwhelming engineering success, it is not without its weak points.

One would submit the shin as a shining example of this weakness. Unprotected, vulnerable, rather unprepared for various unexpected assaults it faces when the proprietor does nothing more than perform everyday tasks.

That one should clearly go back to the drawing board -- one surmises budget concerns might have led to things being the way they are. ("The top 'alf looks good mate, let's save a few quid on the bottom piece...") :*

Irish Steve
23rd Apr 2005, 10:35
What happened to simple, straightforward, commonsense operation?

With anything that's remotely computer based, the answer is unfortunately very simple

They are probably programmed by the Microsoft rejects, and we all know about Microsoft standards.:8 :8

Now imagine the people that can't meet that standard:rolleyes:

23rd Apr 2005, 10:48

Don't you know the definition of a shin is

"a device for finding furniture in the dark"

Keep punching


23rd Apr 2005, 11:09
Plastic "hardware".

"Self-aligning" parts that don't.

"Self-explanatory" instructions that aren't.

Most government buildings within the last fifty years.

Many immediate post-war British motor vehicles.

The first Russian personal computer.

The first-generation cargo door on the aft underfloor cargo hatch of the DC-10 Series 10.

The Metric system (based on a flawed measurement and designed for ease of mathematics only.)

The political platform of The Greens. (A hangman could design a better platform.)

Ducati motorcycle electrics of the 1970s.

Any Lucas electrical system (Joe Lucas - Prince of Darkness!)

East German toilets.

The Comet 1A fuselage.

Any silk purse made out of a sow's ear.

The Napier Nomad E 125 engine.

The Trabant.

23rd Apr 2005, 14:38
I'm sure my mate Scrubby is gnashing his teeth, biting at the bit to post something about Airbus :E

23rd Apr 2005, 19:12
From car designers:

Fragile items such as lights mounted in/on sacrificial structures ie bumper bars.

Interior lights that have that f%^&ing unavoidable dim-to-off & brighten-to-on 'feature'. When I switch the light off it's because I want the bloody light to go out immediately, not in its own good time.

Powered seatbelts. Especially the separate shoulder strap as fitted in my car. It's in the way while trying to put stuff in the car or get out with an armload of gear and you still have to manually fasten the lap strap. Stupid bloody idea. God knows what ******** product manager approved that one.

Radios/audio equipment mounted low in the dashboard. You have to look so far down to see what control is to be used that even your peripheral vision can't see the road ahead. Years ago radios were positioned high in the dashboard so looking at the radio didn't remove the road from observation.

Windscreen wipers that run automatically when the washer is activated. Can no longer run the washer to obtain a desired amount of water/cleaner on the screen before activation the wipers.

Continuous warning beeping from the car when the key is in the ignition on 'accessories' & the door is open. Can
no longer listen to the radio with the door open. Unless you like the annoying beep sounding along in the background.

The US habit of not using yellow lights for turn indicators & hazard lights, using a blinking brake light instead. Just not as obvious, particularly when the car is braking at the same time.


Large buttons & space wasting windows, supposedly to make the software look less intimidating. But unnecessarily wasting finite screen space. As resolutions have increased so have the space wasting designs of software interfaces.

Similarly the trend to resource wasting animations, graphics & tones. Even mobiles now have resource wasting animated graphics, screens & sounds during start up & shut down, system messages etc.

'My'. :mad: My Computer, My Messages, My Documents, My Music, My Account, My Folders, My Pictures.....my arse! A bad idea started by Microshit & everyone had to follow. "Click on your my computer icon then on your my documents then on your my music...... What? Your confused? OK, How about you use your my telephone to call me on my my mobile? We'll arrange a time for me to come over to your my house? Once you let me through your my front door & show me to where your my computer is setup in your my home office & I'll see if I can fix your my problem in my person..."

23rd Apr 2005, 20:38
Willies have certain design flaws. I mean it can't be that difficult, surely, to evolve a method of ejecting liquid waste from the body without it initially spraying out at a variety of angles and covering the rim of the cludgy.

Also, why of why does said organ take it upon itself to stand to attention at inconvinient times?

Meanwhile, the end is covered by a pointless bit of skin that makes it a bugger to keep clean and tidy. No wonder so many religions state you should have that bit of skin removed ASAP.

What's more, according to another thread on JB at the moment, you don't even need it to keep the ladies happy, your mouth does the job much better.


24th Apr 2005, 02:55
Bad Designs (http://baddesigns.com/)

Apologies for putting something slightly serious into JB... :8

24th Apr 2005, 09:22
Tea Bags. whoever patented them forgot to put a zip in them so you dont have to tear each one open to get the leaves into the pot. :*

24th Apr 2005, 09:34
Especially those pyramid tea bags.

Where's the point?

24th Apr 2005, 15:16
Am I the only one who feels that operating a mobile 'phone is akin to trying to paint your living room through your letter box?

Nice link S+S, the list could go on...

What about "lethal designs"? I've seen a few of them in my time...

Onan the Clumsy
24th Apr 2005, 15:44
Especially those pyramid tea bags.

Where's the point? with a pyramid, it's generally at the top

24th Apr 2005, 18:36
One has always thought the human shin bone to be a not particularly well thought-out section of an otherwise brilliant design...poorly protected and vulnerable. :sad:

tony draper
24th Apr 2005, 18:41
The shin bone was indeed protected, some daft monkey a long time ago deciding to stand upright and walk about on two legs instead of the much more stable four is the cause of the shins vunarability.

24th Apr 2005, 19:55
Howling Wind

Has cracking your shin bone somehow led to some short term memory loss? You mentioned shins yesterday, somewhere near the top of the previous page... :confused:

24th Apr 2005, 20:00
Oh yes, by the way ........... has anyone else noticed how the shin bone is a very poorly protected and vulnerable part of the human anatomy??!! :D

(Perahps HW was pissshed) :=

24th Apr 2005, 21:19
Yes, HW admits to being a bit pisshed, but one thought it might be a bit interesting to post in stereo... :}

24th Apr 2005, 21:48
Pah, wouldn't catch me repeating myself.

By the way, willies ae full of design flaws... :}

Woof etc
25th Apr 2005, 02:05
Nobody mentioned those &%%** useless little stainless steel milk jugs they always seem to have in restaurants that pour milk over your shoes instead of into your cup.

A milk jug has 2 functions:

1: Hold milk
2: Pour Milk

On the last count these things fail dismally.

Did no-one actually think of trying one of these things out before producing gazillions and distributing them all over the planet?

25th Apr 2005, 02:16
By the way, willies ae full of design flaws.

Yeah, mine is way too big.

25th Apr 2005, 10:48
Willies badly designed?

I think not.

Compact yet expandable, capable of fulfilling two separate biological requirement, and fitted with a knob to stop one's hand sliding off.

Deserving of a design award.

25th Apr 2005, 11:05

For a large part of the time they don't spray but at the beginning and the end of said function it tends to fly all over the place. And it isn't just me - you can find evidence in many a public urinal without having to study too hard :yuk:


I think the fact that they combine two biological functions is a downer. I'd rather have two, one for each function, specifically designed for that function. I mean have you ever been dying for a slash but happen to have a stiffy? HUGE design flaw IMHO :oh:

25th Apr 2005, 11:08
Airbus A380....

Ooooh :\


Eeek :ouch:

What have I said :{

Sorry, exit stage left.

25th Apr 2005, 11:54
Recently witnessed the arrival of my first born and it looked bloody sore to me. We have been evolving from the year "dot" and yet child birth is still and will continue to be, a messy, painful and sometimes dangerous business.

I would have thought that evolution would have cleared that up first by employing either detachable legs for women or bullet shaped kids before going onto the opposable thumb and binocular eyes bits.

25th Apr 2005, 12:14
ever been dying for a slash but happen to have a stiffy

Maybe-It's been awhile though:uhoh:

25th Apr 2005, 13:15
Reminds me of the (elderly) joke about three engineers deciding what kind of engineer God was.

Structural engineer says He was a structural engineer, because of the brilliant design of the skeleton.

Chemical engineer says He was one of them, as the body is a complex chemical apparatus.

Electronic engineer says He was a Civil Engineer.
No one else would run a sewage outlet through a recreational area.

Greek God
25th Apr 2005, 13:49
"Bloody Things?" - Women or Nads???? ;)

Access & traffic planning to almost all UK Retail Parks :\

25th Apr 2005, 17:38
Clitorises. Can never find the f*&^ng thing. In fact, I don't believe that they exist, but are a conspiracy to make us men feel inadequate! :O

25th Apr 2005, 17:39
Should I mention the 747?


25th Apr 2005, 17:57
Swing bins, 25% of bin bag wasted!

Modern houses where you can open 2 doors on to each other and the handles get all caught.

The button on the lids of food jars to show if contents have been tampered with. Looks the same before and after removing top.

Tiny flimsy cardboard handle on paper cups on some airlines used for hot coffee. The handles almost tear off under the weight of the contents and are not stiff enough to maintain the paper cup upright.

Gives us something to talk about! :D

Cyclic Hotline
25th Apr 2005, 19:00
Woof etc, mentioned those pathetic stainless steel milk jugs, which brings you to the other startling design failure the stainless steel condiment manufacturing industry produced - the stainless steel teapot!

If you had set out the design specification for a receptacle to place hot water and a tea bag in, that must incorporate a handle that must be used at all times to manipultate said item, but acts as an effective heat sink, thus burning the fingers and hand of the user. This teapot must have a wobbly lid, and whenever used to pour will go through the following sequence.

1. Tea must exit around wobbly lid spilling around edge of teapot and fall onto counter, floor or foot of user.

2. Once the level of the tea has fallen below the level required for spillage through wobbly top, then it must flow through the spout and decant DOWN the spout and act in the same manner as (1.) above.

3. At lower levels, the angle of pouring must ensure that the teapot reverts back to the function of (1.) above.

This design was so bloody useless that no-one bothered to patent it. As a a result, the entire stainless steel condiment industry has freely copied, and mass produced, possibly the single worst designed item of all time!

Come to that, it seems that most teapots of any style are pretty useless and never pour properly.

26th Apr 2005, 22:25
'Twizzle', Cheerio? Is that the spin imparted to one's waste?
Or something completely different?

26th Apr 2005, 22:32
plastic bin bags....that rip when a wet piece of cardboard snaggs on the edge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!......oh and those cordless phones that hiss and crackle....just cos you move more than 2 feet away from the base.:uhoh:

26th Apr 2005, 22:56
I've said it before but I'll say it again. The flaming great big manual/service book for my car that doesn't fit in the glove box because the aircon vent that they so thoughtfully put in there which is aimed at the neat little can storage space that never gets used fills half the slot where the book is supposed to go but won't as a result of the vent and so ends up stored in the little draw under the seat and of course as a result never gets stamped when the car is serviced!
I mean these people must know it won't fit in there, they surely look for them every day and yet they don't think to look in the next most (to me at least) obvious place for it. :*

Yes, I know I could put it on the seat for them when I drop the car off but I tend to forget, it's their job and besides they're the dealer, they're supposed to know their way around the things.

26th Apr 2005, 23:33
No, you may not mentin the 747. .


well, don't take that literally. . . was only testing the autocracy. . . me, I wouldn't mind one

tony draper
26th Apr 2005, 23:49
Packaging?, one needs a feckin hatchet to get into some items now, finished up in a rare screaming berserk incenduary rage tother day trying to open a packet of disposable razors with ones hands covered in shaving foam,and what about those daft carboard milk cartons?was a time when one grasped a mars bar and ripped off the covering with ones teeth,or bit the corner off a packey of Maltesers, yerd need gnashers like a Tyranosaur to do that now.

27th Apr 2005, 00:00
Ah yes, that's a good one.
I came across possibly the most infuriating example of that the other day.
One of those semi ridgid clear plastic packages continuously welded together round the edge in which was inextricably and hermetically encapsulated.....

.....a utility knife. :* :rolleyes:

El` Cannibiso
27th Apr 2005, 08:27
In flight yogurt pottles that you get with your meal - packed at sea level air pressure resulting in projectile yogurt as you slide back the tin foil lid while in flight.

Irish Steve
27th Apr 2005, 09:18
Shower gel, shampoo and the like where the caps are made to pop off easily, so they do exactly that in the hold at 8000 Ft, and spread their contents over whatever is in the vicinity.