Volume 18, Issue 2; 20 Oct 2015

Design vs. use.

How they're designed

Some company wants to make a new model of alarm clock for sale to the hotel market. After months of work, a team of engineers enters a brightly lit conference room. “Ok, let's test it.” “Is it plugged in?” “Yes.” “Ok, turn out the lights.” … “See, I don't think that's bright enough.” “Ok, let's make it brighter.” “Great meeting, everyone. On to production!”

How they're used

Roll over after six hours of sleep in more-or-less darkness. Open your eyes, pupils the size of saucers, and stare into the blazing light of a thousand screaming suns. “My eyes! My eyes!” Next day, figure out how much furniture you have to move to unplug the [expletive deleted –ed] thing.