Sunday, April 6, 2014

Simple Designs Gone Bad

Cart Designed for Right-Handed People
I was in Lowe's yesterday buying supplies to make my lawn green so that I can mow it more and discovered a seemingly simple but poorly designed cart.

Yes, the pictured cart is the offending item. 

As I was pulling the cart through Lowe's, I kept bumping things and running into displays. It was not trailing well behind me.

I looked as I pulled it and discovered that was offset to my left and not trailing right behind me. Even my lovely wife made mention of the fact that I was having a difficult time controlling the cart after it pushed over a fruit tree.

So I stopped for a moment and looked closely at the situation. Surely, I was not the only shopper to have trouble pulling the cart through the store. 

And then it occurred to me: this cart is designed uniquely designed to be pulled only by right-handed people. I was pulling the cart with my left hand--when I pulled it with my right hand, it trailed perfectly behind me. Wow, I was the problem!

I suffer through examples of this kind of poor designs all of the time. This is a design flaw that could have been easily remedied by designing a bend in the bar leading to the handle so that the handle would be centered over the end of the cart rather than offset to the left.

Most people use this cart and never notice the unintended discrimination against left-handed people.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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