The better buns didn’t win

hot dog bunNew England-style hot dog buns are better. They have sensible flat bottoms which allow a hot dog to sit upright on a plate. In the land of tons of chili and slaw piled atop a hot dog, you’d think southerners would relish a non-tipping bun. Also, New England-style buns have flat sides which allow them to be grilled easily if so desired. Perfect for the way Pittsburgh and Chicago people eat their hot dogs and sausages! So why didn’t such a smart creation become the bun for everyone? Sadly, like many things in life the best thing didn’t win and become the popular thing.

Best example of this theory, is the situation with Apple Macs and other PCs. Macs are clearly more aesthetically pleasing. They are also more user friendly, functional and low maintenance. And yet most companies buy the cheaper priced machines that in the long run actually cost more money because you need more people to maintain them. And salaries and extra software cost far more than the extra money invested in a Mac computer or device. So why did the PC, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office suite become the default norm when there are better options?

Working with designers everyday, I find that I’m noticing more often poor design in items we use everyday. For example, at work there is a toaster oven where the “stay on” portion of the dial is after the “off” setting. As you can imagine, people turn the dial all the way to the end to turn the toaster oven off, which is how most gadgets typically work. Instead, after the burning smell of a still on oven permeates the space, it’s found that the toaster over is indeed on the “stay on” setting. Somehow that version of a toaster oven made it to an assembly line and into our break room. It certainly was not the best there is in terms of function.

I don’t have answers. Hey, I’m just here to ponder. But what I do know is that all of America, the whole world even, would be better served if New England style was the go-to bun.

For some added fun check out this photo gallery of hot dogs at ball parks across the country and see why New England style would be better for them.

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