The bad design of everyday things #1 — Invoices

Inspired by the awesome podcast 99% invisible and the hilarious posts of McMansion Hell i decided to start my own series of bad designed objects and places. Products that bother me a lot. And since it is not fair to me to suffer alone, I invite you to suffer along.

We all know a whole bunch of objects that simply do not work how they were supposed to. That poorly designed product that won’t fit your hand ergonomics, or that terrible car cockpit that has just the right size to not fit your legs correctly but still give you back pain, and we don’t even started to speak about airplane interiors or waiting rooms in bank agencies.

Well, I am not a specialist in product design, but if my humble knowledge is enough to notice that something is wrong, maybe I am not alone. So let’s play, for this first edition I will start with invoices.

The invoice is a really interesting object. It represents a fiscal commitment between the store, their customers and the tax authorities. But at same time it represents the end of a relationship. A relationship the store built with their customers starting with really seductive ads, developing a climax with sexy showcases and packaging and coming to an end in the checkout. And then they hand us that invoice.

Just like a sex session, it feels a little offensive to be lured into this incredible moment that ends up with our partner turning their back and being out for the count. Seriously? After all those beautiful well designed packages and visual identities you hand me this?

How many packages I kept even after their product turned into garbage? Just because they were beautifully designed and I wasn’t able to throw them away. Maybe it is time to rethink the invoice. Maybe our relationship with the stores doesn’t have to end like this.

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