I guess it’s time to talk about product design again.  Please, when you make a new product (or a new version of an old product), please keep your users in mind.  Think about and understand how they’re supposed to use your product, and make sure it meets their needs.  As an example, (and I realize that this may not be something that most people think about, although I certainly do), I’d like to talk about something we all use all of the time – faucets and sinks.

Especially in the time of COVID, I find myself washing my hands quite frequently.  There are good sinks, and bad sinks.  While I’m not at the hospital today, here are some examples from home.

Here’s a good sink (please note that there is plenty of space for my hand under the faucet):

Here’s a bad sink (Please note that there is not enough room for my hands to get under the water without banging my hands against the back wall of the sink):

Every time I use a sink where the faucet is too short to adequately reach over the sink, and my hands are touching the back wall of the sink in order to get under the water, I find myself getting very angry at the person who designed this sink, picked this faucet, and inflicted it on me and everyone else who has to wash their hands here.  It can’t be that much more expensive to have a faucet that is a few inches longer and makes for a better experience for the end-user.  This means the person who made the choice either hasn’t ever washed their hands (which seems unlikely), or just doesn’t realize or care about the experience of the person washing their hands.  And given that we are desperately trying to get people to be better at washing their hands to help prevent the spread of a pandemic, maybe we should be doing everything we can to make hand washing better, rather than worse.

(And yes, I do realize that these are in my house, that it is up to me to replace the bad sink, and I could do it whenever I’m inclined to do so.  These were both here before we moved in, and we just haven’t gotten around to replacing this bad sink yet.  Once you start that replacing things in the bathroom, it’s hard for it not to turn into an enormous project/full renovation. . .)

The same thing goes for literally all products.  Make sure that you are actually using your product or are doing extensive testing on it with actual users to make sure that it meets their needs and doesn’t make their life worse.

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