The Driver Didn’t Design the Windscreen

I caught the bus today and somehow got chatting to the driver. He went on a rant about the giant floor to ceiling windscreens buses use. They cost $3,000 a pop and because of the height of the bus, often get cracked on tree branches etc.

The bus driver thought it was a stupid idea, and that the windscreen should consist of two panes of glass so even if one gets cracked, the replacement will be cheaper and the damage generally limited to the top part of the screen so visibility isn’t impaired.

He made the comment “No bus driver would have designed a window like this”

It makes you wonder how we still manage to design and produce products without the users driving or even being involved in the process.

3 thoughts on “The Driver Didn’t Design the Windscreen”

  1. With the wisdom of hindsight…

    To be fair, even involving the users in the design process I can imagine that this might have been a tricky feature for a driver to come up with.

    Having said that, some contextual interviews with people in the workshop would no doubt have revealed this (and more) amazing insights!

  2. Maybe I think too weblike, but I thought that there would be batches of buses, so the design could be improved over time – in Welly, I’m pretty sure we got a new batch of buses recently, maybe they could have looked at some practical design updates then?

    Maybe not.

  3. The joys and delights of DESIGN my dear

    You see, practicality is only one facet of design, there are many more, just as in a pretty diamond.

    The new buses look good, people can see more both into and out of them, the glass company that makes the windscreens has a dependable future revenue stream so the people who work for them’s families have bread on the table for a while longer, the dangerous job of street tree-branch trimmer is made easier by bus drivers reporting the places where windscreens are being damaged, etc., etc.

    Personally I like the buses in Sri Lanka. The windows are small and ensure you get a full appreciation of the aromas of the local people, the roofs have handles welded to them so that people who can’t afford to ride inside can just hang around, the engines are based on SU Carburetors and if they ever fail the solution is always a squirt of oil in the damper pot, the drivers take routes that they enjoy because of the scenery, every bus is decorated to suit the aesthetic taste of the owner’s wife, and no two seem to have come from the same year/marque of manufacture. Happy memories!

    On a different point

    thanks for lightening my life with your pondering


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