Monday, August 18, 2008

Poor product design

When I bought my condo it came with a new washer and dryer. The dryer has a very annoying "feature." When the drying cycle is complete, the dryer sounds an alarm. Then, every 5 minutes after that, it sounds the alarm again and the dryer startups up and tumbles for about 30 seconds. This process repeats until I either turn off the dryer or open the dryer door. The reasoning, I suppose, is it is trying to prevent the clothes from becoming wrinkled. But come on! To do this forever is just ridiculous.

This feature - which can't be turned off - means if I put clothes in the dryer and then leave my condo, my neighbors will get to listen to the dryer alarm every five minutes until I get home and turn it off. Or, if I want to run the dryer just before going to sleep, the alarm ensures I'll wake up in the middle of the night to empty the clothes, otherwise I'll get to listen to some loud beeping every five minutes throughout the night.

Is it really that important to have unwrinkled clothes? I think a much better feature would be to have such an alarm on the washing machine. I can easily forget I put a load of clothes in the washer and then discover it a day later. Wet clothes in a washer sitting for a day is never a good thing. The mildew smell is usually so bad I have to re-wash the clothes. Nothing bad like that would happen if I left clothes in the dryer for a day, yet the designer of these machines felt the dryer needs a constant alarm, yet the washer gets none.

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