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Archive for December, 2009

In order for a touchscreen to be successful, the user needs to feel that he is in constant control, and for this, responsiveness is key—even small lags can prove immensely frustrating. One recent offender of this rule is the Blackberry Storm, RIM’s first touchscreen phone. There was a lot of hype about the Storm before it came out. But when users and reviewers actually got their hands on their device, they found out how buggy the whole thing was. The touchscreen suffered from long delays—often a second or more—that made users yearn for their old button-based Blackberry. And completing simple tasks took an unnecessary number of steps. For example, inputting the letter “C” involves putting one’s finger on the letter, waiting for the phone to respond by highlighting the letter, and then pushing down. All that for a simple letter.

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The Nintendo Wii’s slip-prone controller is the stuff of YouTube legends—the site is filled with videos of over-eager Wii Sports players who couldn’t keep a handle on their controllers. The victim: Their tv screens. The problem is simple. The glossy Wii controller can get very slippery if your palms produce even the slightest bit of sweat. Because the Wii thrives on arm-swinging motion-captured action, controllers are apt to fly from player’s hands. Sensing a PR disaster, Nintendo was quick to respond, offering latex shells to Wii owners, free of charge.

Opps . . .

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Children who color with marker often don’t put the caps back on when they are done. This may not be entirely their fault. Marker caps tend to look like both ends have an opening. One end the actual opening and the other end has an indentation which to kids, might look like the end they are supposed to use. So when they go to put the lid back on and it doesn’t fit, they give up and leave it uncapped. If marker caps had a clean indication of what end to use I think children would have an easier time using them.

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Shower handles can be hard to figure out. Some go opposite ways to turn on. Some you have to push in or pull out. Even though the handle indicates that one end is hot and the other end is cold, half the times it’s not correct so you get a nice surprise when you hop in. Sometimes the another smaller button close to the handle that actually turns on the water if you can find it.

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Key locks and be very fickle if you don’t do them just right. Sometimes you need to turn them clockwise and sometimes you need to turn them counterclockwise, you never know until you try. This can cause some aggravation when it takes you minutes fiddling with a lock. The lock won’t work if the key is bent or damaged in any way. In changing weather the locks will expand and contract making the key hole really hard to turn sometimes. The best is when you break your key off in the lock. I think the best solution to this problem is get rid of key lock. We have newer, better technology out there that can replace the key and lock.

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Coffee Mugs that leak.  You always get that little dribble from the cap that ruins your day. Especially the lids that slide open for easy access. Is there a way to make a lid leak-proof but still easy to access. I feel the only coffee mugs that don’t leak are the ones you have to screw on and off. Travel mugs are also really hard to clean. I’m always getting water stuck in the double walled insulated part of the mug. This water is impossible to get out once it is in there, it will just slosh around when you are carrying it. Travel coffee mugs just have too many cracks and crevasses to get liquid stuck in or leaking out.

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Can openers are scary to use. The manual ones sometimes take a lot of energy to turn and cut through the tin- not to mention dangerous. Can openers essentially cut a sharp edge around the can leaving it exposed for the user to tear off with their hands. Sometimes prying the lid off of the can can get the users finger cut. After a while manual can opening will wear out and be to dull or flimsy to actually cut the lid open. This can result in getting the lid stuck in the can or leaving a can punctured but unusable.

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