Reply to post: At Anonymous Cowerd, re the buttons.

User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

At Anonymous Cowerd, re the buttons.

I had the unfortunate luck to once work for Packard Bell / NEC back when I was young & just starting. I had been hired to the QA department & got to test brand new systems all day, making sure they worked before letting them go to Shipping.

The bright bulbs in the Design department tried to produce a front panel that had both the power button & the floppy disk eject buttons so closely positioned & of nearly identical shape that it took those of us in the QA part about sixty seconds to fail the design as unworkable. The Design lead came back to cuss out my manager about "making up problems nobody would ever face in the real world!" My manager promptly had me close my eyes, reach out to eject the floppy, & was rewarded by my inadvertantly powering off the system.

When there's less than a centimeter between the two buttons, both buttons are made of the same plastic, have the same shape & texture, & the only way to tell one from the other is the power button doesn't take as much force to trigger, by the time you realize you're pushing the off switch the damned machine had just shut down.

The Design lead was pissed but took back the unit for a redo. QA was fine with that since we didn't feel like rejecting thousands of post-production units instead of merely the prototype.

I was always a bit nicer to mere users after that point. If even the supposedly smart *designers* of the machine can do something so braindead, the users don't stand a chance in hell.


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