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Stupid Usability #119

Universal Charging port not so Universal

Written By: High Monkey
Posted: 10/12/2015

From the mind of Brian Haukos, Marketing & Project Support at High Monkey:

Let me just begin this post by saying that I think the amount of different chargers available today is a bit over the top. From the Universal phone charger, to the iPhone 4 charger, to the iPhone 5S charger, there are simply just too many types of chargers to own a charger that works for more than one device.

Now that I got that small rant out of the way let me get to my stupid usability example. Over the Labor Day Holiday I was up at a friend of mine’s cabin to enjoy a nice relaxing and fun filled weekend up in Alexandria MN!  When planning to have a fun cabin weekend you need to be sure to have the ability to play music wherever and whenever you can!

With this, the cabin I was staying at owned a Bluetooth speaker that was very portable and easy to connect to, it even had a battery life of about 5 hours of straight music playing time when off the charger. As you can imagine during the weekend the speaker ran out of battery multiple times. The good thing about this speaker though was that it used a universal phone charger to charge it, or so I thought.

Just to give you a better understanding of this speaker the charging port was not flush with the outside of the speaker but instead was hidden under a rubber flap and in a hole under the flap. When I went to grab my cell phone charger (Samsung Galaxy S5 universal) to plug it into the speaker I came across a bit of an issue.

When I opened the rubber flap I went to insert the charger into the port, (key stupid usability) – the width of the large part of my charger was too wide to fit into the hole in which the charging port was located.

My suggestion would be to not put the port in a hole but instead just have the port flush with the outside of the speaker.  If a product has a universal charging port, any universal charger should work but in this situation that simply was not the case!


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More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 10/12/2015 12:00:00 AM by Brian Haukos | with 0 comments