Faulty Designs that last

From the moment we wake up in the morning, our lives are made easier by a large number of products and gadgets, from the alarm clock, the toaster, the juice maker, the car or bicycle to take you to your destination products are everywhere, the list is endless.

All these products are designed to be user friendly,  practical  and safe. Products that are not won’t survive and soon disappear from the markets.

However there are a number of products that are absolutely a pain to use but have survived and are here to stay, why?

First let’s look at products in restaurants;

The Ketchup Bottle

The Ketchup Bottle has been selling for decades, Needless to say, we all have had our issues with the bottle. It’s hard to get the juice out of the bottle, it’s the culprit for many messy accidents, but hey it’s here to stay despite all the new squeezy versions on the market. Does anyone know why?

Thonet Chair

I remember this chair since I was little; it adorned almost every coffee shop and every restaurant. It’s stiff, uncomfortable and small. It faded for a while but with there seem to be a major revival and it’s Back!

Booth Sitting


Who has ever thought that people can dine together in this fashion? Although the seats may be cushioned, they are meant for people to eat quick and leave, since side chatting is so awkward.

 Dining room pendant light

It’s always in your face, hits heads, but its seems  a permanent features in so many dining areas as if it’s so necessary to have light so near our faces?!

Here are few examples of products that are problematic but have survived and lasted decades, is it because they look good or because consumers are passive or because we simply get used to deal with the shortcoming?

I am not quite sure what is the answer, but as designers we have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that products are users friendly, practical and safe.

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