Whether we like it or not, design plays a pretty important role in our lives. It's intended to help us navigate the world's problems, large and small, but if the design isn't executed correctly, it can actually make things a lot more difficult. A few years back, Reddit user u/tthatoneguyy asked people to share "the worst case of design over function" they've ever seen. Here were some of the top-rated replies:
1. "There's a brand of pregnancy test that will send the results to your phone. You have to search for the app, download it, pee on the test, and wait for the results. What was wrong with the regular tests? By the time you've downloaded the app, you could have had your results."
2. "I was staying at a hotel in Cleveland where the toilet paper holder was across the room from the toilet. You had to waddle your way over there to get some paper. The first time I used it I sighed so loud."
3. "I work in a dementia memory support unit, and we recently got new furniture. The only things we got for the residents to sit on were these rolling chairs with no locks. They were very nice looking, but there was a huge spike in falls due to the chairs sliding right out from underneath them."
4. "My neighbor built a new home where both the front and back roofs slope down towards each other in the middle of the house, forming a big valley. Predictably, his house floods when it rains."
5. "On The World's Most Extraordinary Homes show, there was a house where the rooms didn't connect to each other. As in, you had to walk outside and then reenter the house from the outside every time you wanted to change rooms."
6. "There's a McDonald's in my town, and in the dining area the ceiling lights are so big and hang so low that — on some tables — they are actually at head height. You literally can't see the person sitting opposite you."
7. "My company's new offices only have stools — meaning I don't get any back support for EIGHT hours of work. They look sleek and modern, but the lack of regard for employee comfort is just astounding to me."
8. "Every hover-over dropdown menu or other insane ways of hiding our choices when there's space to put them in the graphic interface."
9. "Touch screen interfaces in kitchen appliances. Obviously, these do not work well with wet or damp hands and fingers."
10. "The Apple mouse with the charger cable underneath, meaning I have to have a forced early lunch at work because you can't charge and use it at the same time."
11. "My mother got a new car recently, and it's horn isn't in the center of the steering wheel where it usually is in most cars. Instead, it's a button behind the wheel next to the indicator switches...If there is a legitimate reason for this, I'd love to hear it, because as far as I can see it's just dangerous as fuck."
12. "Not just small pockets on women’s clothing, but fake pockets. And it gets worse...Sometimes there’ll be a fake zipper on a fake pocket."
13. "Curved TVs. God help me if I sit at an angle to the screen."
14. "My kitchen sink is a 'low flow' kitchen sink. The purpose of a sink is to quickly deliver water to you. It's not a shower where conservation of water over time is a desired trait."
15. "I went to a bar with tables made from wooden barrels. Very cool looking, but so uncomfortable to sit at. You had to either sit with your legs wayyy open, or turned 90 degrees."
16. "Nearly every parking lot in Florida seems to have landscaping that you can't see around in order to drive carefully."
17. And finally, "At a local community college, there is a staircase that is two-people wide at the ground level, but as it gets higher, the width gets shorter. By the first landing, you can only fit one person."
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.