Posted in design, personal, tech, user experience

An Epic Fail: How to make a $150+ 500 Gb portable external hard drive suck

I bought a WD “my passport” that had some great features.

  • It was smaller than my wallet
  • Needed no external power, but ran off one USB connection to my computer
  • It was 500 GB for crying out loud
  • It had a great design

However, WD missed one small thing: the USB cable is not a regular mini USB.

Why is this an issue? Well, simply put, it does not stay in snug and will disconnect whenever I move the computer.

A Portable External Hard Drive That Isn’t Portable

How can such a small feature change the entire product?!?! Well, what’s the point of using a portable hard drive when I have to stay still?!?!

I simply cannot believe WD missed such a crucial step in their testing. It makes me wonder if they even tested this product after making it? It could have been fixed by simply implementing the standard mini USB cable too!

Conclusion: What Can We Learn From This?

I don’t want to just be an online ranter, or a blogger that just highlights problems without constructive solutions. I think this is a reminder to companies, as well as developpers and startups, to TEST their products and services! A great reminder for me as well.

This is also a great example of how a company can have such a great product in almost all aspects (design, price, size, etc…) and yet ruin the entire product just by forgetting one small aspect.

So end-to-end user testing of the products and services is key!

Needless to say, this product is going back to the retailer. To me, this is quite an epic fail.


Jon Chui (pronounced "chew") has been building iOS/Android apps for the last 7 years, the last 3 working on Google Maps, Inbox by Gmail and Google's Search App. Though he grew up in a Christian family and to parents who would end up giving up their 25 years of hard-earned comforts/affluence in Canada to go back to China as missionaries when he was 14, being a Christian was always in his head, and he would constantly struggle with trying to unify the sacred and the secular - until last year. However, through a radical transformation[] @ work last year (which he can't take ANY credit for), he & his wife & 2 young boys have decided to leave Google, sell/donate everything they have so to serve the poor & marginalized with Jesus’ love as missionaries with's Family DTS in Kona, hawaii then to the Philippines. Read more about their family journey @, and reach out to him @ If you're a recruiter with freelance jobs or have tech projects for jon feel free to reach out to him -

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