There are all manner of things that we tolerate in our lives, some of which are beyond a solution. But some are just plain nasty…
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1. Display/ornamental cabinets.
These are the perpetual motion of an ecosystem of redundance. The cupboard is acquired for the purpose of displaying things. It is not essential or solving a problem. It is literally installed to show stuff off. Then, things are acquired for the purpose of filling the cabinet. Not essential things or problem-solving things, just things to display in the not-necessary cabinet.
In other words, it is a piece of furniture that is not required, for the purpose of housing a collection of other things that are also not required.
2. Refrigerator crispers. In particular, crisper sizes.
According to all science, we are heavy, unwell, and under-nourished. We should be eating more fruit and veggies and less processed garbage. But yet our refrigerators are, at best, one-fifth fruit and veggie friendly. The crisper zone in most fridges is usually the lowest, narrowest drawer in the whole device. And if you think that it is no big deal, consider how we treat other bottom drawers; in the kitchen, the bottom drawer is for the crap we should throw out or the stuff we do not understand. In our bedrooms, it is for socks because we need to be that low to put our shoes on. In our offices, the bottom draw is full of stuff that we never need but always dig through thinking a solution lives in there.
With the increase in less meat dependent lifestyles, we must be nearing a point where the crisper gets a more significant run. If you were a brand that was prepared to take the punt on 3D TV, surely bigger crispers are a wiser play.
iPhones, Teslas, intravenous chemo technology was not invented from the bottom drawer. The bottom drawer is where stuff goes to expire. Like Noosa.
3. Traditional kitchen layouts.
The traditional kitchen layout epitomises style over substance – marble bench tops, soft-close cupboards, more storage space than IKEA. But completely anti UX.
3.1. The above-the-fridge cupboard.
The average fridge is about 1.8m high, or near enough to six foot. So, a cupboard above this will naturally be further away than six feet, with depth. The average man is five feet nine inches, the average lady is five feet six inches. So apart from Lebron, who is utilising this cupboard with any efficiency?
3.2. The big saucepan draw.
How will we store our pots and pans? Let’s just make one giant draw that they can all hide in. This is a fine idea until you actually need to get a pot or pan out of the draw. Then it’s offkey kitchen orchestra at big volume.
“Was that a multi-car pile-up three suburbs away?”
“Oh sorry, no, I needed to get the large pot out of the draw so that I can stand on it to get into the above-the-fridge cupboard.”
3.3. Everything is below waist height.
At six years old, everything is at the right height in the kitchen (apart from the above-the-fridge cupboard). From 12 years old and above though, every movement requires an unergonomic bend in the hips to fetch whatever you need.
You’ve heard the line, “Sitting is the new smoking” (in reference to back health)? This was started by kitchen planners to smokescreen the fact that they are singlehandedly crippling the vertebral columns of society.
3.4. Deep pantries (pantries. Not panties).
A long, long time ago when I was living in share accommodation, my roommates and I had a vanilla-essence-and-cola bender. Not by choice, but by practicality:
We were cleaning up our apartment to get ready to move out. In cleaning out our pantry, we established that over the previous three years, we had acquired something in the order of a dozen bottles of vanilla essence. Why? Because pantries are too deep and make no sense and shit gets lost.
Need a normal sized, normal quality Philip’s head screwdriver? Cool, just rummage through a giant death box full of heavy sharp rusty other tools to track it down. While you are digging through the punishment, see if you can track down a Band-Aid or tetanus shot to address your wounds.
Toolboxes are intentionally designed collections of heavy-duty disarray. And somehow the larger the toolbox, the higher the cost. In other words, it gets more expensive to you as you choose to increase the mass of your instrumental chaos.
Also, the screwdriver you need is not in the toolbox anyway. You used it last week to build a display cabinet and then put it in the bottom draw with the leftover bits from the flat-pack kit.
5. Car crevices.
Forget your self-driving carlates dream (Pilates for the car) or bulletproof-glass upgrades. Show me a car that allows me to easily reclaim my dropped keys, coins, and M&Ms without having to acrobat my way under the front seats and sacrifice my hand skin in the process.
We have all been there; pulling up to the drive-through with just enough loose change to get a coffee or an ice cream only to drop an essential coin between the console and driver’s side chair. Of course, we cannot get out of the car because the drive-through is too narrow and our wallet or purse and phone are in the boot (because we have just come from a very important business meeting and everything has been thrown in the same bag). After spending 30 seconds jamming our hands into small gaps and inspiring the next SAW movie, we realise our only play is to find a carpark and go into the shop to make payment, which if you had planned on doing in the first place, would have done so somewhere nicer than where you are now.
Once you are inside the establishment and are met with a collective wave of dirty looks, go back out to your car and put your anti-viral mask on and try again.
But no, tell me more about the car’s electric sunroof that exposes me to humankind’s greatest conduit for cancer worldwide.
6. Reusable hot beverage vessels that are not capable of managing heat.
I have been a long-time user of a prominent brand of reusable coffee cup because I think they are a cool idea, and they prevent me from ploughing my way through somewhere in the order of 800 disposable cups each year. But for some reason, these beverage vessels struggle with performance-grade hot drinks.
The issue is that if you order a maximum size black coffee (which is pretty much 473mls of lava) or max-size extra hot hybrid coffee, the lid expands just enough to allow drips of coffee to run down your neck and hands. Consequently, most mornings, I look like I have just rolled out of the Hangover, covered in coffee spill, and without feeling in my fingers.
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I’m not the only one, right?