As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Product Design Fail: Cuisinart


So I’m making coffee in a hotel room and the little brewing machine has clear instructions printed right on top. I sail along until I get to the instruction to “press ON button.”


There is no “ON” button.  There is a low, hidden “POWER” button on the side of the machine, tucked up against the coffee products where no one can see it.  Pressing the POWER button does indeed turn the machine ON.


That’s a big design fail.  The most important button on this brewer should be easy to see and access, especially for an appliance that is going to be used by travellers unfamiliar with the appliance.  Maybe Cuisinart wanted to avoid accidental deployment of the button by hiding it, but I usually find this company’s designs much more intuitive.

Sigh. The industrial designer’s work is never done.

6 Responses to “Product Design Fail: Cuisinart”

  1. Quarkie USA

    It’s an even bigger fail when you miss the graphic on top for single cup placement and put one cup on the right side, … only to have your brewed coffee empty out onto the counter through the left side!

    (I stay in that chain of hotels too!)


    • julespieri

      Wayne, it sounds like you speak from (unfortunate) personal experience. Making coffee–before I’ve had my coffee–is a challenge for me even with my familiar home brewer. I probably should not admit that …

  2. Margaret McKenna

    Jules, you’ve made me look at everything through the lens of design….


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