Rob: I think your description fits perfectly. When someone designs a vital part of the final assembly, which in this case is a remote, as to be unusable for the intended user, elderly or infirmed people; that not only is thoughtless, it is stupid.
It is time to remove the political correctness of critique and call a spade a spade. The design of the remote was stupid. I have designed tools that did not function as intended because I had skipped a step or ignored a previously learned principle or just plain made a mistake. While it stung to hear the words, in the end I had to admit, "That was stupid." Hopefully, I never repeated the error.
As one of my first foreman told me while I was busy defending what he called a, "stupid mistake." "Are you telling me there are such things as `Smart Mistakes'?
It is far more likely that the battery compartment was never designed at all, but simply detailed based on some battery size specification, and the process of battery replacement was never ever even considered. That happens a lot in the much smaller companies where there may be one engineer and a high-school student drafter/detailer. The kidsnare good at the cad program but with zero real world experience they do overlook things. Probably that situation will never change, since small organizations mostly think small. And, of course, nobody else had the time to check it. Things happen that way. It looked good, all of the seams fit, and so it gets produced.
Amen to that! I had a 1970 Judge with a 140 mph speedometer!
Even with a front air dam and rear wing (which I think neither of them worked functionally) the car got very light at those speeds. So I rarely tried that. By the way I got the tongue in cheek thing! Have a good week.
RIGHT ON GTOLOVER. My wife and I are caregivers for our 90+ year old parents. Their ability with mechanical and electrical devices is very limited at best. It amazes me as to how many devices designed for elderly people seeming are never tested for the end users. I won't even mention trying to decifer the uses and care instructions. It's about time designers realize the "audience" their devices are supposed to help. Good post.
I don't remember who wrote this comment, but it fits in product engineering at many levels...
Final Q/A USED to be there to weed out problems like this one; nowadays, many businesses ( like M$ ), let the customer do the final Q/A. I've done both, Product Engineering and Final Q/A and have felt pressure from upper management to get a product with known faults out the door and into a customers hands.
That was one of the reasons I would not go into the management ladder; I valued my ethics over the job.
That is also why many companies design in the cost of a service call to generate more profit.
This is not unique to any type of industry, they all have done it. Doing it on the backs of the disabled ( I am disabled too ) stoops to a new low in the quest for profit....
Charles, no reprimand intended. To be honest, I am usually a firebrand on the web, but i try to be as civil as possible in this forum. It's populated by fellow travelers who 'get' this stuff and I do appreciate it. I've been on both sides, as I am sure everyone here has at one time or another.
Nonetheless, I still wonder... the vast majority of firms making stuff are little outfits. How can the little guy avoid these oversights without a staff of dozens? A routine of coming here and reading observations would sure help, but I wonder if there isn't a need for some discipline-specific "Top Ten Rules of (pick one) ___Quality ____ User Interface ____ Safety ____ Reliability ____ Maintainability ____Human Factors ____ Materials , etc.?
The experience and expertise here is substantial. The observations are spot -on and keen. Seems a shame to frame them in critical terms instead of guidelines.
Agree it sounds like the compartment was designed too small. FYI, the battery manufacturer I commented on uses "copper" in their marketing and advertising. Good performing batteries but right at the max standard dimensions.
The design had enough room for swelling as evidenced by the new replacement battery having the same tight fit. The issue was exacerbated by the additional area needed to get past the battery snap "height". This was not one of the newer style inexpensive batterty compartments that uses two smooth concave surfaces as the connection point.
My apologies to Old Curmudgeon. Lightheartedness is always appreciated. But I'd love to have an old Gas, Tires, and Oil in my driveway any day.
BTW, OldSkoolSyntax, my mother is a lefty. Thank you everyone for the extra amusement on a Friday.
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Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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