"How did such a design pass basic functionality testing?"
Some "whiz kid" millenial type probably *FELT* it "was modern" which AUTOMATICALLY made it "better".
He did not live through the 1960's and so did not know about LBJ's "whiz kids". Nor did he read Arthur C. Clarke's "superiority". He probably *FELT* his recent education made him WISER than his predecessors, because of safe spaces, participation trophies, and having his self esteem positively re-enforced all of his life.
Or something like that. And seeing EVERYTHING through a 4 inch phone screen, held vertically, which keeps you from noticing the surroundings... like a horse with BLINDERS on.