I have many fond memories of going camping with my family every summer. Most memorable is the eager anticipation as we drove there, the agonizing wait to set up our tents before we could hit the water, the lazy days that followed, and then the more agonizing task of packing up. Let’s face it there’s just no joy in packing up particularly at the end of 10 days with your entire family that by now needs another year off from each other. No camping trip would be complete without the dreaded process of taking down and packing up the tent. Queue the ominous music “Da da dun”! Specifically the rolling and putting away of the tent. This was always a grudge match full of grunting, stretching, and straining the fabric to get it into the tightest bunch we could muster just so we could get it to fit in the tent bag which was clearly designed to fit the tent only if it was precisely folded or rolled just like it was by some automated machine at the factory. My mom would undoubtedly end up going off on an obscenity laced tirade because we would of course forget the tent poles or rain flap after fussing for ten minutes with the zipper of the bulging bag. (Thank goodness my mom lives in the technological dark age and will likely never read this or else I would be the recipient of one of her famous obscenity laced tirades).
Did the engineer or designer not ever try to unpack and repack the tent as part of the design process? Sounds like such a reasonable question right? I tire of so many things that just don’t fit the container they come in once unpacked. If it comes with a reusable bag or case it’s a guarantee it is undersized by at least a third. This goes for the aforementioned tent bags, sleeping bag bags, and headphone bags just to name a few. Even the almighty product design prowess of Apple is not immune to this. This is evident in the recently updated Apple earphones. They come with a case to wrap the cords that like all the other examples I mentioned barely fit unless the headphones are perfectly wound tight. I struggle to close the lid every time and have even cracked it as well as rubbed some of the jacket off of the cables trying to close it. I expected more of them honestly.