Usability Journal Post #9

USB connectors suck. Daily, I find myself attempting to insert a USB cable or drive into a slot incorrectly because I have it upside down. It’s not like these connectors are new, so why haven’t design changes happened yet? A reason for this is usually a lack of a signifier to indicate which side is up. Adding to this problem is the fact that most of the time, you cannot see the USB that you are trying to insert into well. This could be because the port is located on the side of a laptop, or on a desktop in such a way that it is hard to see the port without putting your face in front of it. The constraint of only being able to insert the connector into the port one way is the main issue. It could even lead to damaging the connector or port. So the solution is simple- make reversible USB  connectors and ports, and all of these issues are solved. I am surprised that it has not happened yet, considering that USB has been around for a while.

However, it is coming in the near future! USB connector Type-C is expected to be finalized in July of this year and will be added to new USB 3.1 specification. So, within a couple years, these usability problems will be fixed! Read about it here.

usb

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