The Suitcase Lady

Dashboards

August 25, 2020, 8:52 pm

My son and I agree that a huge number of things in life are made too convoluted. He has been known to get a rental car and start a diatribe about the design of the dashboard. A clutter of buttons, touch screens and useless decorative elements bring on the rant.

I fully concur and do not want my time wasted and my mind stressed by poorly designed objects. The car radio in our Honda Fit receives daily wrath from me. A series of touch screens with multiple touch points on each has to be maneuvered to do the simplest things…like going from AM to FM. I would bet a lot of money that this design disaster is responsible for many accidents as the driver has to take his or her eyes off the road to use it. (Please note that I like everything else about this car.)

I’ve solved my radio problem by getting a station up and running before I leave the garage and not touching it again until I stop driving. This is ridiculous, but the only safe thing to do.

Whether it’s a computer or a can opener, a car or a cat toy,  good product design is not taken seriously in America. Somehow, many of our citizens seem to think that the more junked-up a design is, the more bells and whistles it has, the better the product is. Not true, it is just frustration. We need to get back to the classic architectural maxims of “Form follows function” and “Less is more”.

Our son recently got a spectacular bargain on a 2002 Audi from Craig’s List…and he got the dashboard of his dreams. I may need one of these, but in the meantime, our Fiat 500’s dash is not bad, either.


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