I think the majority of product designers out there don't ever have to use the objects they design. I suspect they do it mostly on the drawing board (actually, computer program) and figure out solutions without consulting those who have to use them.
I have often thought i would write a version of dante's inferno - siduri's inferno - where i would force designers to use their own designs for eternity! (Number one goes to the designers of airline seats - they will have to sit in them for eternity - but that's off topic here).
The one that irritates me constantly is that as far as i know there is not one single salad spinner out there that has a pin (the thing that holds the inner basket up from the base) that is high enough so that the salad, once spun, isn't sitting in the very water you wanted to spin out of it. Smart, right? You spin it, but then have to dump the water at the bottom, spin again, dump again, and spin again. All you would need is an inch or even half inch clearance between the bowl and the basket, but none i have ever seen, at any price, have any more than 1/4 inch, if that much. (If anyone knows of any that have more, please let me know!)
Now there are some with holes in the bottom, where the water drains out, but then one of the great things of the salad spinner, that you can put the leaves under water and lift the basket to let the water and sedimented sand drain out, is lost. You can't really wash dirty salad under running water, unless you hold it leaf by leaf, certainly not in a basket, if you don;t want to risk tapeworm.
Even the perfunctory little channel they put on most is not large enough to really capture the water of a bowl of salad once spun. (And it irks me even more that if they put the channel there, then they must be aware of the problem - so JUST MAKE THE PIN LONGER! It's not rocket science!)
That's the most annoying.
here are a couple of others:
potato/carrot peelers that have such a short blade that the blade holder (top and bottom) scrapes into the potato as you peel lt. Make it longer!!! Make the holder flatter! (Only the really cheap ones seem to have that, no holder at the end, and a longer blade)
Another concerns the pouring spout of pots. Some pots have a nice feature, a pouring spout on one side. Now that makes sense, and i would imagine that there would be right-handed pouring spouts and left-handed pouring spouts on the market. Of course, like most things, that is not the case and the majority are simply designed in one version, for righties, and ok, i can;t complain, since i'm also right handed. But since they are not specific left-handed pots (which they should make and which should be just as easily available) why are they designed to pour with the right hand? I have never had to use a spout unless i'm pouring something slowly so that i can beat it with the other hand. Otherwise i just dump it in and who needs a spout? So some product designers have gone through the trouble of making a spout, but without any idea what it's good for. What it;s good for is to pour slowly while you stir with the other hand. And the other hand is whatever hand you mainly use. So for a rightie, you need to be able to pour with the left hand, because the right hand is the one you will stir best with, and the leftie will have to use the left hand to stir so will need to pour with the right.
Another rant concerns pots and pans. Most pots and pans have a little hole or ring on the handle so you can hang them. Not everyone hangs them, of course, maybe a small number of people hang them (i am one who does), but the fact that they make a hole at all means that they intend them to be hangable.
Now while my older pots all have a moveable ring at the end, that is thin and allows even two pots to hang on the same hook, the more modern ones i have have very thick handles and the hole is simply a hole through the handle, sometimes almost an inch thick. If you are hanging something at eye level, well, you can manage to maneuver the pot into the hook by lifting it almost horizontal to get it on the hook, but if you need to hang it higher it;s nearly impossible. And there is no room to hook another pot on the same hook.
Anyone have any others? I would love to write an article for a product designer journal from thye point of view of the user.