This Online Group Is All About Strange Products, And Here Are 30 Of The Weirdest Ones
Do you ever shop online or wander around crowded isles and instantly feel overwhelmed by the plethora of items to choose from? Well, the amount of stuff we’re bombarded with daily is through the roof. With millions of products available to buy at the click of a button, folks are constantly uncovering heaps of original ideas. From cool concepts that solve modern problems to things you didn’t even realize you wanted, there's plenty of temptations.
But once you scroll past the innovative and the necessary, things tend to take a bizarre turn. And there's one online destination dedicated to poking fun at the side of consumerism where the level of weirdness is way above normal. So let us introduce you to the 'Strangest Products' online community on Reddit. Thousands of members have set out to share pictures of the most unusual gadgets, oddest product designs, and bizarre inventions that almost certainly challenge the boundaries of imagination.
Our product-loving team here at Bored Panda has gone through their feed and gathered some of the strangest items you can buy, but really shouldn’t. So continue scrolling to check out the images below, hit upvote on the most baffling ones, and let us know which of these products you loved and hated most in the comments!
Then Do The Boogie Woogie And You Turn Around And Thats What Its All About! (Read The Whole Thing!)
Nowadays, we’re used to well-thought-out products. We expect quality and value because, after all, companies and designers invested their time, money, and ideas into bringing these items to the shelves and, consequently, into our homes. The whole definition of product design is to solve our problems and satisfy specific needs that arise in a given market, but things happen and some strategies miss the mark entirely. And when people say that all things have a function and a purpose, they've probably never come across a vertical chess board or an enormous punchable Enter Key that certainly bends the limits of imagination.
"Welcome to Strangest Products," as the moderators write in the community description. Ever since its creation in 2017, the group has been steadily growing and sharing the weirdest findings they discover with everyone online. Scrolling through their feed and seeing objects that are light years away from their goal can be baffling. However, it’s also undeniably entertaining to see these creations and poke fun at their ridiculous designs. Heck, some may even make you stop and shout, "Take my money!" And you probably won’t be the only one.
Phone Case With Actual Working Emulator With 36 Games. I Have It, It Works Great!
Forget Real State, You Can’t Afford It Anyway. Millennials Monopoly
I Dont Know Where Else To Post This Gem
After all, good design isn’t easy, and creating something that has a purpose and is pleasant to interact with requires years of learning and experience in the field. To learn more about blunders in the product design world, we reached out to Mike Doell, an industrial designer and president of the Toronto-based studio Ross + Doell Inc. When asked about the poor design solutions we stumble upon these days, he told us that 'bad' is a relative term and often leads to never-ending conversations.
Doell pointed out several explanations for why products sometimes don’t turn out as expected. "A few reasons are low budgets, inexperience, super tight deadlines, and risk intolerance. This often leads to copying a successful product without fully understanding it or the thought process involved," he explained to Bored Panda. Moreover, when designers leave out or alter features and details, it can "adversely affect the product if you don't fully understand what you are copying."
But making ideas into reality is a lot harder than you’d think, something that often leads to bizarre gadgets being released into the wild. The industrial designer explained that they look strange to us because they were simply created at the wrong place and wrong time. "May not be appropriate for the target market," Doell added.
One key characteristic of odd products is feature creep. "Those responsible for new product development often pile on unnecessary features and visual details thinking they will add value," he said. This is also known as scope creep and refers to excessive features that usually make the product too complicated to use.
As David Bishop, a designer and researcher, explained in his LinkedIn post, to understand what feature creep means, you just have to visualize a universal remote control. "Can you understand what all those buttons do? Have you ever actually pressed any of those tiny ones hiding down at the bottom? I didn’t think so."
For a moment, just imagine how delightful it is to use things that are simple and intuitive. Good design requires creators to think about and understand others. While it doesn't come naturally for most, it certainly makes things better. Unfortunately, overcomplicated products are being forced on consumers these days, and the reason behind it is a simple one: competition.
"A product appears on the market. It gains a following and a dedicated user base. Those users want their beloved product to get even better, so they have ideas and requests for how it might be updated in version 2.0. At the same time, a competitor appears and perhaps even offers some of the very features users have been requesting," Bishop wrote, adding that the market often compares the two by their features. While most of us might believe that the most fully loaded product is immediately the superior one, that’s rarely the case.
This Bluetooth Shower Speaker Is Powered By A Micro Hydroelectric Generator
Truly Terrifying Product
Interestingly, adding more features to the product can make designers believe they’re thinking about the user's needs and what they might need in any future situation. But "designing something that can be used in every imaginable situation usually means that it doesn’t work as well in more common situations."
Bishop pointed out that the best way to fight scope creep is to rethink simplicity. "In fact, simplicity is itself a feature—and one of the most powerful tools for making users more efficient, effective, and satisfied with a product. Don’t think of removing a function from a product as taking something away; think of it as adding simplicity."
If you want to avoid creating more problems with your designs while also creating new products, Doell told us that it’s important to always think about the user. "Not just the end user, but also the person that assembles, repairs, sells, etc." Moreover, if you feel like almost everything worthwhile has already been invented, don’t feel discouraged. There are plenty of ways to find a new niche where you can show off your brilliant ideas and talent.
Plus, your inventions don’t have to be completely new. The industrial designer pointed out that creators can just take a specific item and put in the effort to make it better. "You do not have to be first," he added. "[But] take the time to understand the task, it is never as simple as you think it is."