25 Serious Design Flaws In Everyday Products

Posted by , Updated on June 22, 2024

Everyone’s had a run-in with badly designed tech at some point. These clunky products seem to pop up everywhere. It’d be really helpful if folks put more thought into making them better or fixing the flaws. Check out **these 25 major design flops in everyday stuff**!



Touch screens in cars

car screenSource: dailymail.co.uk

This doesn’t mean that all touch screens are bad. The problem is that in some newer cars, the touch screens control almost everything, including the air conditioning and radio. Why is that bad? Because the physical buttons were easy to use while keeping your eyes on the road. Putting everything on a touch screen can be dangerous and distracting.


The button on top of baseball caps

baseball cap

It serves no purpose; it hurts when you bump your head; and it makes wearing headphones harder.


Sticker glue that is stronger than the sticker paper

sticker residue

This is especially annoying when you buy someone a gift on the way to their house. Now you either have to leave the sticker on, hide the price with a marker, or risk ripping it off and leaving a sticky mess.


Lamps that have the switch on the cord instead of the base

lamp switch

So whenever you try to turn the lamp on in the dark you have to fumble around with the cord.


Blinds that have a cord on each side

blindsImage: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

Why would anyone ever want to only pull up one side of the blinds? Just have one cord that pulls the blinds up in their entirety so you don’t have to struggle with two cords at once.


Toothbrushes that you can’t put down

toothbrushImage: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

Toothbrushes have become so advanced that some of them even have mini-computers embedded in the handle. But you want to put the toothbrush down on its back? Good luck.


No pockets on women's pants

jeansImage: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

Or even worse…fake pockets.


The line left by the dustpan

dust pan

Apparently they fixed this problem by inventing something else…the vacuum cleaner.


Wine glasses

wineSource: gizmodo.com, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

Even though they hold expensive liquid that stains very easily, wine glasses were designed with an elevated center of gravity, a small base, and a very fragile mid-section. This make spills much more likely. How did nobody realize this beforehand?

Note: wine lovers will argue that the shape and size of the glass greatly influences taste. On the other hand, scientists will argue that everything influences taste…including perceptions about the glass shape. At least the glasses could be made out of a sturdier material.


Rectangular shopping baskets with the handle crossing the width


This means that you either have to twist your arm or hold the basket away from your body. It would make much more sense to have the handle go length-wise. Then you could actually hold the basket normally.


While this one is annoying, number 6 is pretty dangerous!


Faucets that don’t extend far enough


So then your hands end up touching the back of the sink and you have to bend your wrist weird ways to get all the soap off.


Motion sensors on hand sanitizer pumps

soap dispenser

This goes for soap dispensers too…you only touch the dispenser before actually sanitizing/scrubbing your hands. It would be better to put a motion sensor on the door so that you don’t have to touch the handle when you’re walking out of the bathroom. Or require all bathroom doors to open outwards.


Glass ketchup bottles


Actually…glass anything. How are you supposed to squeeze out the last drops?


Location of the steering wheel in cars

carImage: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

In the UK the driver’s seat is on the right. In the US it’s on the left. Neither is where it should be…in the middle. Having the driver’s seat in the middle would drastically decrease the likelihood of people having blindspots on the road.

Note: the McLaren F1 actually fixed this. You steer from the middle with one passenger on each side. The catch? It’s probably out of most of our price range.


Stove tops that don’t give exact temperatures

stove top

Instead, they just have numbers. So…do you want to cook that broccoli on temperature 5 or temperature 6?

Note: changing the knobs to give degrees wouldn’t work for obvious reasons (how long the food has been on the stove, type of pan, etc), but a thermometer of some sort would be useful.


Stickers on fruits


Even Tony Fadell (a lead designer at Apple) noted that these stickers unnecessarily added one step to the fruit-eating process. Why can’t the stickers go on the stem instead of the body?


Western toilets

toilet-Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain)

Human beings are actually designed to poop in a squatting position. This is why some experts suggest pooping with your feet on a stool.


Video controls that cover the captions

movie controls

You try to rewind the video so that you can re-read the subtitles…but the DVD/Youtube/etc controls cover all the words.


Un-select buttons on elevators


Poor design examples include things that don’t exist, and this is a classic case. Unfortunately the vast majority of elevators lack this ability.


Tide pods

tide podsSource: wsj.com

To adults they look cool, but to kids they look like candy. And that is not healthy for the kids.


Nail clippers


What’s wrong with nail clippers you ask? They send your nails flying everywhere.

Note: apparently there are some nail clippers that attempt to contain the mess, but they can be hard to clean.


The “spacebar” being right next to the “period” on some keyboards

phone keyboard



Micro USB ports

usb ports

They pop out all the time, and with just a little nudge on the wire, the port can break. USB-C tries to fix these issues, but unfortunately, it’s taking some time to catch on.


US bank notes all being the same size

dollarsImage: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net (public domain)

One of the most classic design flaw examples, this makes it impossible for blind people to differentiate them.

Note: many countries have different size bank notes, or even braille.


Toilet flushing handles

toilet flusher

You have to flush 99.99999% of mechanical toilets with your hand. Why can’t they all have foot pedals to flush?

Note: public toilets quite often have automatic flush sensors, but these activate quite easily…often while you’re still sitting!

Photos: Feature: shutterstock, 25. daveiam via flickr, CC BY 2.0 , 24. Rjcastillo, Gorra MLB, CC BY-SA 3.0, 23. romana klee via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 22. Santeri Viinamäki, Inline switch, CC BY-SA 4.0, 18. Santeri Viinamäki, Blue broom and dustpan, CC BY-SA 4.0, 16. KAM workshops via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 (modified by Sameen: added text; added red handle illustration; CC BY-SA 2.0), 15. Max Pixel (public domain), 14. I, BrokenSphere, Solos automatic soap dispenser, CC BY-SA 3.0, 13. David Blackwell via flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0, 11. Max Pixel (public domain), 10. No machine-readable author provided. Ionutzmovie assumed (based on copyright claims)., Culinary fruits front view, CC BY 3.0, 8. anonymous, VLC on Android 5.0 Lolipop, added text by sameen, CC BY-SA 3.0, 7. Shane Adams via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 6. Austin Kirk via flicker, CC BY 2.0, 5. Original uploader was Iain at en.wikipedia, Fingernail Clippers, CC BY 2.5, 4. Bruno Pedro via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, 3. Algr, Lighting, Mini, Micro, & USB 3.0 plugs, CC BY-SA 3.0, text added by sameen CC BY-SA 3.0  1. BrokenSphere, Sloan dual-function toilet handle 1, CC BY-SA 3.0