One problem, not unique to this cassette player, is that the play and record buttons are positioned next to each other, thus increasing the likelihood of recording over an unprotected cassette tape when accidently pressing play and record at the same time.
Suggestion: Most good cassette player/recorders separate
these two functions to prevent such a mishap.
For awhile I thought the alarm clock had 4 functions: 1) AM; 2) FM; 3) AUTO; and 4) Tape. As it turns out, it only has 3 functions, as FM AUTO is one function, though I'm still not sure how FM AUTO differs from what would be FM. Note that the indicator marks are so close together (less than 2mm) that the words AM and TAPE are far off to the left and right, respectively. When I first received this as a gift, a constant source of confusion was trying to set the radio to FM and getting AM, instead. The word FM actually appears directly over the tic mark indicating AM. This picture shows the radio in FM AUTO mode. Moving the 4mm-wide switch 2mm to the left will change the function to AM, the switch will not line up with the AM label when in AM mode.
Suggestion: Put more space between function modes such
that the switch lines up with the label.
Finally, the VOLUME CONTROL is poorly designed. First of all, the volume labels of 0, 5, and 10 are unreadable beyond 12 inches from the radio (note 0 is circled). Second, the separate left and right volume controls (really useless in a stereo with 2 feet of speaker wire) are diagonally arranged such that the Right control needs to be a little to the left of the Left control in order to be set to the same level. Finally, the silliest design quirk of all, note that 0 volume (circled) is 6 major tick marks from the MIN label, which might indicate a possible volume control level of -6, and that the MAX label is 7 tick marks beyond the 10 indicator, though the actual switch stops at 0 and 10. The switch itself slides smoothly and because the tick marks are so close together, it is difficult to stop at the level you want, EVEN IF YOU COULD READ IT.
Suggestions: Use a larger font size for the labels.
Get rid of tick marks that can not be used and spread the remaining ones
out, so that you can adjust the volume with more precision and so you can
read the volume level setting, or simply use a rotating knob.