a contender for the worst idea ever

Neil needed white board markers (and I never need an excuse to go to the office supply store) so we took our lunch break field trip style and headed to the nearest Staples. Markers in hand, a couple of report covers for me, and a new Moleskine sketchbook for Neil later, we headed to the tills and noticed this ridiculous display near the front of the store.

reLR_Easy.jpg

The instructions on the back of the packaging say:

Now there’s an Easy Button‚Ñ¢ for your business.
At Staples¬Æ, our goal is to take some of the “work” out of your workday. So we invented the Easy Button‚Ñ¢. Just follow these steps to make your day a little easier:
Step 1. Identify a difficult situation.
Step 2. Press your Easy Button‚Ñ¢.
Step 3. Listen to the reassuring message.
Step 4. Smile and get on with your day.
Step 5. Repeat as necessary.

Seriously. That’s what it says. I pressed the button but couldn’t understand what the cheap recorded voice said, which of course made me feel instantly ‘reassured’. One would guess that if I need a big red button to keep me from going over the edge, that I should at the very least be able to decipher if it’s telling me to put down my guns or not.
I’ve got a better idea for the Easy Button: Allow you to record a custom message. Imagine the morale boost and office laughter with “you’re a twat” or quotes from Office Space on your desk.

When I was in school for my Industrial Design degree, one of my instructors drove home the single most important lesson I learned there: “It took someone to design that.” And by that, of course he meant everything. Every notch, bevel, button, and smooth surface requires thought. Absolutely nothing is manufactured without design and consideration.

That said, who approved the Easy Button‚Ñ¢?

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5 thoughts on “a contender for the worst idea ever”

  1. I’ve seen these on display at Staples on the Farnham Road, too. That was at least 4 or 5 months ago.

    The only explanation I can come up with is possibly more distressing that the idea that the product even exists. That explanation is this: there are a considerable number of people out there who actually find this product funny.

    It’s a depressing thought.

  2. I don’t know if you have them over there, but Staples’ Easy Button commercials are all over the TV here–not for the actual product you mentioned; but for the idea of having a magic easy button to instantly take care of your problems. I’m really sick of them!

  3. I haven’t seen any commercials for these things over here. I’m not sure a supporting ad campaign could take away from their naffness. Naff and a half.
    Naff naff naffity naff naff.

    Naff.

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