Derek Featherstone's Box of Chocolates: You never know what you're going to get

Box of Chocolates

Sunday, September 7th, 2008 - 8:20pm

Just a dishwasher

Our old dishwasher died, so we decided to do dishes by hand for a while. Believe me when I say that it didn’t last long; however, it did last long enough to notice that I was changing my behaviour — I used fewer dishes and ate out of more containers to reduce the number of dishes we needed to wash. Oddly shaped or smaller items like plastic storage containers or cutlery seemed to take inordinate amount of time. We could wash 8 large plates in the time it would take to properly wash the same number of forks, and that just didn’t seem right.

After a week we’d decided to get a new dishwasher. We researched the various brands, and then models within the brand to find the best features for us.

  • adjustable top rack
  • extra quiet operation
  • tall tub model to allow us to put in our larger water jugs and sport water bottles
  • stainless steel tub (we’d stained our last one something horrible)

Yes, this model cost a bit more, but there was no doubt that it was the right one for us.


Installing it was a pain, but we finally got it setup and ready to go. Proudly I open the dishwasher door to fill it with the breakfast dishes I’d purposely set aside for her maiden voyage. I reach down with a plate to put it in the rack. And then it hits me.

I can see it so clearly now, the dishwasher is packed with the features we wanted and needed. The allure of the shiny newness of it all was blinding. The price was right. But it fails the simplest test of all: it doesn’t fit our dishes.

They just. Don’t. Fit. No matter which combination of direction and adjustable racks, they simply don’t fit. Nor do our bowls. If ever we shop for a dishwasher again, I will take some of our dishes with me to the store to try it out first.

The obvious solution, now that it is installed, paid for, and we’ve committed to that entire line of appliances? Buy new dishes, of course.

I can’t help but feel an uncanny parallel to buying software — all the way from the initial need, to doing things by hand and being frustrated by all the small details, to the research, to the unfulfilled needs with something that is feature-rich, gorgeous to look at, but just doesn’t fix the problem that we were originally trying to solve.


User testing.. good for more than just websites…

How big are your plates? …or how small is your new dishwasher?

Carl Camera

September 8, 2008

Adjustable top rack, extra tall tub and they still don’t fit? What kind of pizza serving platters are you eating off of?

Dishwashers that wash dishes, now that is novel, what will they think of next. Are these plates Derek are they like monster sized plates?

Okay, here is the photographic evidence you’ve all (not likely to have) been waiting for :)

Dishwasher Woes on flickr showing the wide plate rim and deeper dish wall resulting in our plates not fitting in the dishwasher properly. Yes, I did take photos as evidence. Yes, that means I’m a geek :)