Who’s the sadist who “designed” airline seats?

I do not wish to meet the engineer who designed the airline seat. He is a failure of a man and deserves no acclaim. It is physically impossible for anyone over 6 feet to be comfortable in an airline seat. Perhaps this is by design: make the passenger so uncomfortable that the only way they can sleep is through the purchase of $35 in alcohol.

Now I hear Air Canada is charging for pillows and blankets in ‘comfort packs” so you can “get comfortable”. Its fair to say I will never be flying that airline.

However, the airline seat serves as a really good example of how bad design foisted on an individual will destroy loyalty. I recently flew Airline X. Airline X has the same horrible seats as the rest of the airlines–hence I am completely ambivalent to which airline I fly when I think about a comfortabel journey. Were one airline to ever commision a good design for a seat that accomodates a human in a humane way, they would win true customer loyalty and perhaps even charge a higher premium for thier product. A well designed product in this industry would go a LONG way to providing more repetitive use of that airline.

How does this apply to a software application?:
If you design a better, “more comfortable” sytem for the issues inherent in managing personal information, you will have loyal customers that will use your brand exclusively.

Heres what a few sources have to say on the subject:


Tips for Surviving Coach Class Air Travel
For the millions of travelers for whom first class or business class travel isn’t an option, here are some tips that will help you to look after your back and make your journey a little more comfortable.

  1. Use a pillow to support your head and neck. An inflatable air pillow works well, it’s compact when deflated, and once inflated you can snooze and avoid waking with a stiff neck.
  2. Use an airplane pillow or a rolled blanket to make a support for your lower back. Rather than putting this support completely across the back of the seat, which will decrease your seat-clearance, try to use the airplane pillows to either side of your lower back, or try to make an inverted T with them.
  3. Keep adequate space under the seat in front of you for your feet. If you have a larger bag, put this in the overhead storage bin. If you have a smaller bag, position this centrally with your feet to either side.
  4. Keep your feet in front of you at all times, try to stretch out your legs, and keep your feet and legs moving. This will aid circulation and reduce fatigue, as well as decreasing your chances of suffering a potentially fatal blood clot.
  5. Stand up and move around the airplane as often as possible. On a long-haul flight try to walk the aisle at least every 30 minutes. Choosing an aisle seat will help to make this easier because you will not have to disturb fellow passengers.
  6. Drink water rather than alcohol, coffee of tea. Flying dehydrates the body because of the very low humidity levels in the pressurized air cabin. Alcohol, tea and coffee are diuretics that also encourage dehydration. Water will re-hydrate the body and help to prevent circulatory problems.

    Donald Norman Chimes in:

    and more on ergonomics:

    from a seat designer:


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