Bad Design: Automatic Umbrellas

To really think about it, automatic umbrellas are kind of dumb. While they’re great for extending and opening the umbrella, closing it and manually retracting it into its collapsed form is a hassle, especially when you’re in a rush to somewhere or your hands are full. When we close the umbrella it is because we have already used it and the umbrella is wet, but the automatic function for the stem only works for the opening part, so our hands end up getting wet because we have to hold the fabric and push it towards the handle so the metal part would collapse. That’s really annoying! For me, this action requires two hands and a decent amount of force, which makes it really inconvenient to use — for example, going grocery shopping on a rainy day and needing to board a bus, I would take a solid 1 minute to put down my groceries, close my umbrella while standing in the rain, and then whipping out my id card and then hopping on the bus.

Rain is a natural phenomenon that we have been experiencing since the beginning of humanity and it just makes no sense that this automatic umbrella is arguably the most advanced and widely used solution.