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March 6, 2005

The safer grill keeps burning me

When my dad bought a new gas grill, I was surprised to see that it had two handles mounted on the side of the lid instead of a long bar across the front. He explained that it was a safety feature that kept you from having to reach over the flaming grill to raise or lower the lid.

I grill all the time and never got burned until my dad got his new, safer grill. Now I keep reaching out for the missing front-mounted handlebar on his grill and burning my knuckles against the hot lid.

Why not both kinds of handle, Ducane? If the side-mounted handle really is a benefit – eliminating the need to expose their arms to the heat – customers will learn to use it and value it as a benefit of your grill. But without the front-mounted handlebar, the first few weeks with one of your grills will be filled with burns and annoyance, and customers risk having their guests despise rather than admire your product.

Designers of grills and software and everything else are always looking to make things new and different and better. It is important to respect the well established conventions, though, or else you risk getting burned.

Posted by Bob Pritchett at March 6, 2005 11:12 AM

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