All microwave interfaces are COMPLETELY different

15 May 2010 - 7:28am
4 years ago
21 replies
1628 reads
elvenmuse
2010

Why, why o why all microwave interfaces are different... I could not, in the work that I am right now, change some microwave settings... without assistance... and I'm smart enough to use basically ALL other electronic/al devices, easily without even reading the _ manual. It needs some numberrs, on/off, start/pause... even use music-related icono-graphs (the ones on the menubar of the iPod). But no, all manufacturers decided to make all their microwaves (even within their own production lines) completely different... to *_ the customer

Comments

15 May 2010 - 9:47am
Joshua Muskovitz
2008

Heh. I experienced this when we replaced our microwave two years ago. Aside from the subtle UI differences, our main usability problem was that the start and stop buttons were reversed from the previous unit.

I solved this by placing small red and green dots (stickers) immediately below the new buttons. Everyone was able to operate the new device correctly after that.

15 May 2010 - 9:50am
Jeff Harrison
2009

No doubt. My favorites are the food-labeled presets. The microwave at my last job had a button called "sandwich" and another one called "2 sandwiches."

It must be really hard to differentiate your microwaves from the competitors'. There's size, but the capacity/workspace tradeoff is going to keep that within a certain range. There's the spinning carousel, which is nice. Beyond that, though, what is there? So, to come up with features to brag about, you add buttons to give people more ways to program the thing, even when those features ignore how most people use microwaves: nuke it for a while, check if it's hot enough, and repeat as desired. As an added bonus, the buttons are frequently not at eye level, and your customers are trying to figure it out while they're hungry. I don't see the situation improving until there's an innovation in the underlying technology.

15 May 2010 - 4:20pm
DerrekRobertson
2010

Right on. Two words: commercial model. The comercial model microwave
(for large professional kitchens) has one timer knob (like an egg
timer). It's the best. Full blast - time variable.

Someone should launch a marketing campaign explaining this, including
the fact that it is cheaper to produce without extra buttons, and sell
a bagillion. Who's with me? Viva simplicity!

Derrek

On May 15, 2010, at 8:31 AM, Jeff Harrison wrote:

> No doubt. My favorites are the food-labeled presets. The microwave
> at my last job had a button called "sandwich" and another one called
> "2 sandwiches." > > It must be really hard to differentiate your microwaves from the
> competitors'. There's size, but the capacity/workspace tradeoff is
> going to keep that within a certain range. There's the spinning
> carousel, which is nice. Beyond that, though, what is there? So, to
> come up with features to brag about, you add buttons to give people
> more ways to program the thing, even when those features ignore how
> most people use microwaves: nuke it for a while, check if it's hot
> enough, and repeat as desired. As an added bonus, the buttons are
> frequently not at eye level, and your customers are trying to figure
> it out while they're hungry. I don't see the situation improving
> until there's an innovation in the underlying technology. > >

15 May 2010 - 5:00pm
mcaskey
2008

I'm with you!

While I think there should be models that still offer digital timers, cooking timers, and other features, I really like single-control UIs whenever they make sense.

Kinda like blenders with a single switch, rather than 20 buttons...

Mike C.

On 5/15/10 3:50 PM, DerrekRobertson wrote: > Right on. Two words: commercial model. The comercial model microwave > (for large professional kitchens) has one timer knob (like an egg > timer). It's the best. Full blast - time variable. > > Someone should launch a marketing campaign explaining this, including > the fact that it is cheaper to produce without extra buttons, and sell > a bagillion. Who's with me? Viva simplicity! > > Derrek > > On May 15, 2010, at 8:31 AM, Jeff Harrison wrote: > > > No doubt. My favorites are the food-labeled presets. The microwave > > at my last job had a button called "sandwich" and another one called > > "2 sandwiches." > > > > It must be really hard to differentiate your microwaves from the > > competitors'. There's size, but the capacity/workspace tradeoff is > > going to keep that within a certain range. There's the spinning > > carousel, which is nice. Beyond that, though, what is there? So, to > > come up with features to brag about, you add buttons to give people > > more ways to program the thing, even when those features ignore how > > most people use microwaves: nuke it for a while, check if it's hot > > enough, and repeat as desired. As an added bonus, the buttons are > > frequently not at eye level, and your customers are trying to figure > > it out while they're hungry. I don't see the situation improving > > until there's an innovation in the underlying technology. > > > > > >

16 May 2010 - 7:47am
elvenmuse
2010

I think that it will be nice if Apple made a microwave oven... a clickwheel + numeric keypad + 3 (Apple Microwave nano) or 6 (A. MW nano+ ...full aluminum color case) custom microwave-specific hard-keys. But it will seem that Apple wants to take control over all your electricity using devices (like if users and prosumers were stupid...).

imagine using an apple-tv -ish control for this microwave... oh the humanity!Laughing

// I retain author rights of all the contents of this message, CC by-nc by default ...with (tm)

16 May 2010 - 4:40pm
Kivi Shapiro
2007

Donald Norman's take on the commercial value of simplicity:

http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/simplicity_is_highly.html

Kivi

On 16 May 2010 09:58, elvenmuse wrote: > I think that it will be nice if Apple made a microwave oven... a clickwheel > + numeric keypad + 3 (Apple Microwave nano) or 6 (A. MW nano+ ...full > aluminum color case) custom microwave-specific hard-keys. But it will seem > that Apple wants to take control over all your electricity using devices > (like if users and prosumers were stupid...). > > imagine using an apple-tv -ish control for this microwave... oh the > humanity! > > // I retain author rights of all the contents of this message, CC by-nc by > default ...with (tm) > >

17 May 2010 - 6:50am
elvenmuse
2010

what about Zen insipired simplicity... almost minimalistic Design but more on the Sober Scale?

We may be on the same page, but tl/dr (and it was external)

> Donald Norman's take on the commercial value of simplicity: > > http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/simplicity_is_highly.html > > Kivi > > On 16 May 2010 09:58, elvenmuse wrote: > > I think that it will be nice if Apple made a microwave oven... a > clickwheel > > + numeric keypad + 3 (Apple Microwave nano) or 6 (A. MW nano+ ...full > > aluminum color case) custom microwave-specific hard-keys. But it will > seem > > that Apple wants to take control over all your electricity using > devices > > (like if users and prosumers were stupid...). > > > > imagine using an apple-tv -ish control for this microwave... oh the > > humanity! > > > > // I retain author rights of all the contents of this message, CC by-nc > by > > default ...with (tm) > > > > > >

17 May 2010 - 3:20am
Karl Herler
2010

I'm often truly baffled by this too.

My parents recently replaced their microwave with a new feature rich one, from a leading manufacturer. It has a total of 10 buttons with three states each (zero-state, push, push-and-hold), a scroll wheel and a open door button.

In order to heat something at a specific time (let's say 30 seconds) you have to:

 

  1. Click on a button labeled with a pythagorean triangle (like a volume icon), this causes the display to blink P100 (to indicate that you can change power percentile). 
  2. Click the same button again, then the display stops blinking but it still says P100.
  3. Roll the scroll wheel one step to the right, this causes the display to show 00:05.
  4. Keep rolling until the desired time, as shown on the display.
  5. Click on a button labeled with a Rhombus and "+60", this starts the microwave and the timer starts ticking down.
Also if you at any time during that push the wrong button it returns the microwave to its initial state but not the display (until the clock passes a minute and it switches to display that).
I noticed that my parents developed a workflow for heating food that probably wasn't what the designers intended just because they couldn't memorize the sequence above. They would push the button labeled "2" (and a snowflake) twice and the microwave would start heating food for 2 minutes (which was the preset for heating microwave pizza, at 80% power according to the manual) and if the desired time was less then 2 minutes they would force open the door and remove the food, leave the door open (which causes it to after a while return to it's start state) and if it was more then 2 minutes they'd just repeat the sequence.
Kal

 

17 May 2010 - 7:00am
elvenmuse
2010

it should be /* this term is not a favorite but still useful a "haha only serious" */ : "nuke" your food for 't (time in minutes and seconds, 1 hour is too dangerous)... and that's it. nuke/off, 9 numeric keys, 3 extra custom keys (for w'e branded trademarketed, etc functions).

> I'm often truly baffled by this too. > > My parents recently replaced their microwave with a new feature rich one, > from a leading manufacturer. It has a total of 10 buttons with three > states > each (zero-state, push, push-and-hold), a scroll wheel and a open door > button. > > In order to heat something at a specific time (let's say 30 seconds) you > have > to: > >   > > 1) Click on a button labeled with a pythagorean triangle (like a > volume > icon), this causes the display to blink P100 *(to indicate that you > can > change power percentile).  > 2) Click the same button again, then the display stops blinking but it > still > says *P100. > 3) Roll the scroll wheel one step to the right, this causes the display > to > show 00:05. > 4) Keep rolling until the desired time, as shown on the display. > 5) Click on a button labeled with a Rhombus and "+60", this starts the > microwave and the timer starts ticking down. > > Also if you at any time during that push the wrong button it returns the > microwave to its initial state but not the display (until the clock passes > a > minute and it switches to display that). I noticed that my parents > developed > a workflow for heating food that probably wasn't what the designers > intended > just because they couldn't memorize the sequence above. They would push > the > button labeled "2" (and a snowflake) twice and the microwave would start > heating food for 2 minutes (which was the preset for heating microwave > pizza, > at 80% power according to the manual) and if the desired time was less > then 2 > minutes they would force open the door and remove the food, leave the door > open (which causes it to after a while return to it's start state) and if > it > was more then 2 minutes they'd just repeat the sequence. Kal >   > > (((Please leav

17 May 2010 - 9:43am
nixkuroi
2010

Just for fun, I took about 20 minutes to mock this up.  :)

I attached the jpg and psd in case any of you wanted to make improvements.  Maybe GE will see one of our iterations and get inspired. :)

Original PSD: http://www.hypnothetical.com/ixDA/iWave_IxDA_Mike_Simon.psd
Full Size JPG: http://www.hypnothetical.com/ixDA/iWave_IxDA_Mike_Simon.jpg

 

 

IiWave_IxDA_Mike_Simon.jpg

17 May 2010 - 9:57am
George Schneiderman
2004

While I am not generally a great fan of my microwave (a GE Monogram), the behavior of the buttons labeled 1 to 6 is very handy. Press one of these when the microwave is in its "default" (off/clock) state, and it IMMEDIATELY begins cooking at full power for that many minutes--there is no second button to press, which is great. Cooking for other periods of time, or other power levels, is much more complicated, but 90% of the time it is 1 press, which I really like.

There is also a button labeled something like "+30 seconds". I have also found this very intuitive, whether because or in spite of the fact that it behaves differently in different states: From the "default" state, it starts cooking for 30 seconds. From a cooking state, it extends the time of the cook cycle by 30 seconds. And from a timer state, it extends the timer by 30 seconds. It's a surprisingly handy little button.

The other "fancy" feature that I find genuinely useful is a weight-based defrost setting, for frozen meat/chicken/fish. You tell it the weight of your frozen item, and it figures out how long to heat it and and what setting, and also reminds you to flip it midway through the cycle. It may sound a little gimmicky, but it works suprisingly well.  There are also buttons which are supposed to reheat a plate of food or heat a drink, theoretically using sensors to detect the amount of steam being released or some such feat. Those would be great if only they worked well, but they don't. (Although they do maintain the virtue of  one-touch operation.)

At various points, microwave manufacturers and frozen entree manufacturers have talked about the idea of "smart" packaging, where, using either RFID or barcodes, the microwave would recognize the particular item and use the optimum heating sequence. No appeal to me, since I don't think I've ever used my microwave to heat a commercially manufactered frozen dinner. But if Apple ever manufactures a microwave oven, they may have to resist the tempation to limit its use entirely to heating objects with approved RFID chips . . . (I'm kidding, I'm kidding.)

25 May 2010 - 5:53am
Jakub Andrzejewski
2010

I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves:
 - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn know and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start button, or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute (pressing it again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start button looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the labels and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake.

 - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15 buttons (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to start cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then enter either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and it's fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I almost always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not.

 - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most intuitive - 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one (the big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design from a unknown maker of microwaves.

Happy cooking,

/Jakub:)

25 May 2010 - 10:08am
Maria Cordell
2010

I think this discussion calls for some photos, so I've created a Flickr group for just that purpose. Post your microwave UI photos to Flickr, and add them here, to the Microwave UI group:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1414172@N20/

Cheers,

Maria IxDA Atlanta

On Tue, May 25, 2010 at 10:26 AM, Jakub Andrzejewski wrote: > I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves: >  - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn know > and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start button, > or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute (pressing it > again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start button > looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the labels > and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake. > >  - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15 buttons > (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to start > cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then enter > either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and it's > fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I almost > always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not. > >  - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most intuitive - > 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one (the > big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design from > a unknown maker of microwaves. > > Happy cooking, > > /Jakub:) > > (((

26 May 2010 - 12:06am
DerrekRobertson
2010

Viva la knob! Viva la potentiometer! Viva simple design!

Derrek Robertson neonsunburst.com

On May 25, 2010, at 8:23 AM, Jakub Andrzejewski wrote:

> I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves: > - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn know > and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start button, > or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute (pressing it > again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start button > looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the labels > and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake. > > - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15 buttons > (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to start > cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then enter > either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and it's > fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I
> almost > always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not. > > - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most intuitive - > 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one (the > big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design from > a unknown maker of microwaves. > > Happy cooking, > > /Jakub:) > >

26 May 2010 - 2:05am
martinpolley
2007

I have one of those older-style microwaves with two knobs (power and time). The problem I have with it is that it is hard to specify a short cooking time (e.g., 20 seconds for my croissant). I always end up counting in my head and stopping it manually.


Maybe this nice, simple design can be improved with the addition of a time display (but no clock, please!). Or by having a different scale/calibration for the first minute of the knob so that it is much bigger than the rest of the time markings.


Cheers,

Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer

+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>



On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM, DerrekRobertson <derrek@neonsunburst.com> wrote:

Viva la knob! Viva la potentiometer! Viva simple design!

Derrek Robertson
neonsunburst.com

On May 25, 2010, at 8:23 AM, Jakub Andrzejewski wrote:

> I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves:
> - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn know
> and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start button,
> or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute (pressing it
> again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start button
> looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the labels
> and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake.
>
> - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15 buttons
> (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to start
> cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then enter
> either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and it's
> fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I
> almost
> always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not.
>
> - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most intuitive -
> 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one (the
> big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design from
> a unknown maker of microwaves.
>
> Happy cooking,
>
> /Jakub:)
>
>

26 May 2010 - 9:05am
elvenmuse
2010

The two main variables are Time and Heat (Energy measured with temperature... in Celsius).

Both can be displayed with 2 "old school" digital numbered displays. A sticker (or nice engraving in some metal) with the *Celsius_icon and a simple *seconds_icon... I think it is the same as " (quote) or ' (small quote).

Both can have simple knobs on the left to program/chose/change the variable. Microwaves are in such an uncreative state, that it seems almost as done on purpose.

// CC by-nc-sa license (...which can be selled to individual parties/companies)

> I have one of those older-style microwaves with two knobs (power and > time). > The problem I have with it is that it is hard to specify a short cooking > time > (e.g., 20 seconds for my croissant). I always end up counting in my head > and > stopping it manually. > Maybe this nice, simple design can be improved with the addition of a time > display (but no clock, please!). Or by having a different > scale/calibration > for the first minute of the knob so that it is much bigger than the rest > of > the time markings. > > Cheers,Martin PolleyTechnical writer, interaction designer > > +972 52 3864280Twitter: martinpolley > > On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM, DerrekRobertson [2]> wrote: >>Viva la knob! Viva la potentiometer! Viva simple design! >> >>Derrek Robertson >>neonsunburst.com [3] >> >>On May 25, 2010, at 8:23 AM, Jakub Andrzejewski wrote: >> >> > I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves: >> > - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn know >> > and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start button, >> > or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute (pressing it >> > again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start button >> > looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the labels >> > and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake. >> > >> > - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15 buttons >> > (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to start >> > cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then enter >> > either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and it's >> > fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I >> > almost >> > always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not. >> > >> > - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most intuitive - >> > 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one (the >> > big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design from >> > a unknown maker of microwaves. >> > >> > Happy cooking, >> > >> > /Jakub:) >> > >> > >> >

26 May 2010 - 4:05pm
cfmdesigns
2004

I think I've seen versions of that with two time knobs, for seconds
and for minutes. I don't recall it being confusing which was for which.

-- Jim Via my iPhone

On May 26, 2010, at 3:20 AM, Martin Polley
wrote:

> I have one of those older-style microwaves with two knobs (power and
> time). The problem I have with it is that it is hard to specify a
> short cooking time (e.g., 20 seconds for my croissant). I always end
> up counting in my head and stopping it manually. > Maybe this nice, simple design can be improved with the addition of
> a time display (but no clock, please!). Or by having a different
> scale/calibration for the first minute of the knob so that it is
> much bigger than the rest of the time markings. > > Cheers,Martin PolleyTechnical writer, interaction designer > > +972 52 3864280Twitter: martinpolley > > On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM, DerrekRobertson [2]> wrote: >> Viva la knob! Viva la potentiometer! Viva simple design! >> >> Derrek Robertson >> neonsunburst.com [3] >> >> On May 25, 2010, at 8:23 AM, Jakub Andrzejewski wrote: >> >> > I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves: >> > - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn
>> know >> > and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start
>> button, >> > or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute
>> (pressing it >> > again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start
>> button >> > looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the
>> labels >> > and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake. >> > >> > - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15 buttons >> > (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to
>> start >> > cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then
>> enter >> > either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and
>> it's >> > fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I >> > almost >> > always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not. >> > >> > - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most
>> intuitive - >> > 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one
>> (the >> > big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design
>> from >> > a unknown maker of microwaves. >> > >> > Happy cooking, >> > >> > /Jakub:) >> > >> > >> >

27 May 2010 - 6:05pm
DerrekRobertson
2010

Martin, can you send a pic?

Derrek Wayne

On May 26, 2010, at 4:58 PM, Jim Drew / CFM Designs wrote:

> I think I've seen versions of that with two time knobs, for seconds > and for minutes. I don't recall it being confusing which was for
> which. > > -- Jim > Via my iPhone > > On May 26, 2010, at 3:20 AM, Martin Polley > wrote: > > > I have one of those older-style microwaves with two knobs (power and > > time). The problem I have with it is that it is hard to specify a > > short cooking time (e.g., 20 seconds for my croissant). I always end > > up counting in my head and stopping it manually. > > Maybe this nice, simple design can be improved with the addition of > > a time display (but no clock, please!). Or by having a different > > scale/calibration for the first minute of the knob so that it is > > much bigger than the rest of the time markings. > > > > Cheers,Martin PolleyTechnical writer, interaction designer > > > > +972 52 3864280Twitter: martinpolley > > > > On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM, DerrekRobertson [2]> wrote: > >> Viva la knob! Viva la potentiometer! Viva simple design! > >> > >> Derrek Robertson > >> neonsunburst.com [3] > >> > >> On May 25, 2010, at 8:23 AM, Jakub Andrzejewski wrote: > >> > >> > I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves: > >> > - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn > >> know > >> > and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start > >> button, > >> > or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute > >> (pressing it > >> > again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start > >> button > >> > looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the > >> labels > >> > and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake. > >> > > >> > - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15
> buttons > >> > (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to > >> start > >> > cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then > >> enter > >> > either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and > >> it's > >> > fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I > >> > almost > >> > always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not. > >> > > >> > - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most > >> intuitive - > >> > 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one > >> (the > >> > big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design > >> from > >> > a unknown maker of microwaves. > >> > > >> > Happy cooking, > >> > > >> > /Jakub:) > >> > > >> > > >> > > > >

28 May 2010 - 1:07am
martinpolley
2007

Hi Derrek,

A picture of my microwave or of what I think the knob should look like? (Here's a photo of my microwave's controls: http://twitpic.com/1rqeg9.)

Cheers,

Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer
+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>


On Fri, May 28, 2010 at 2:47 AM, DerrekRobertson <derrek@neonsunburst.com> wrote:

Martin, can you send a pic?

Derrek Wayne

On May 26, 2010, at 4:58 PM, Jim Drew / CFM Designs wrote:

> I think I've seen versions of that with two time knobs, for seconds
> and for minutes. I don't recall it being confusing which was for
> which.
>
> -- Jim
> Via my iPhone
>
> On May 26, 2010, at 3:20 AM, Martin Polley
> wrote:
>
> > I have one of those older-style microwaves with two knobs (power and
> > time). The problem I have with it is that it is hard to specify a
> > short cooking time (e.g., 20 seconds for my croissant). I always end
> > up counting in my head and stopping it manually.
> > Maybe this nice, simple design can be improved with the addition of
> > a time display (but no clock, please!). Or by having a different
> > scale/calibration for the first minute of the knob so that it is
> > much bigger than the rest of the time markings.
> >
> > Cheers,Martin PolleyTechnical writer, interaction designer
> >
> > +972 52 3864280Twitter: martinpolley
> >
> > On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM, DerrekRobertson [2]> wrote:
> >> Viva la knob! Viva la potentiometer! Viva simple design!
> >>
> >> Derrek Robertson
> >> neonsunburst.com [3]
> >>
> >> On May 25, 2010, at 8:23 AM, Jakub Andrzejewski wrote:
> >>
> >> > I have a pretty regular experience with 3 microwaves:
> >> > - at work (the most expensive out of the 3) - 3 buttons, a turn
> >> know
> >> > and an LCD. Turn the knob to set cooking time and press start
> >> button,
> >> > or just press start button and it will work for 1 minute
> >> (pressing it
> >> > again adds another minute and so on). Pretty cool but the start
> >> button
> >> > looks very much like other buttons. Of course I don't read the
> >> labels
> >> > and 7 ouf of 10 i make a mistake.
> >> >
> >> > - at home - the oldest of all (1989) - this monster has 15
> buttons
> >> > (incl 10 for each digit (to set time) - placed in a column) - to
> >> start
> >> > cooking (let's say 1 minute) i need to press 'time' button then
> >> enter
> >> > either 6-0 or 1-0-0 and the 'start'. I never make mistakes, and
> >> it's
> >> > fun to enter weird cooking times, like 78, 89, 34 and so on :) I
> >> > almost
> >> > always open it during cooking to see if it's hot or not.
> >> >
> >> > - at my parent's place - the cheapest and by far the most
> >> intuitive -
> >> > 2 big knobs. One for power setting (and grilling option) and one
> >> (the
> >> > big one) for time. I never touch the power knob. Wonderful design
> >> from
> >> > a unknown maker of microwaves.
> >> >
> >> > Happy cooking,
> >> >
> >> > /Jakub:)
> >> >
> >> >
> >>
> >
>
>

28 May 2010 - 9:35am
Ariel Leroux
2009

I'm all for simplicity and I really do like some of what I'm seeing here, but there are 2 very important features which are the most used buttons in my household.

The quick nuke buttons (press button, it auto starts for 30 seconds, press again, it adds 30 seconds)

and... the magical popcorn button.

 - Otherwise, I very much dig the dial approach

 

29 May 2010 - 2:06am
elvenmuse
2010

We can leave 2 or 3 "presets": nuke, defrost and popcorn (but all of them are 'user configurable')

> I'm all for simplicity and I really do like some of what I'm seeing here, > but > there are 2 very important features which are the most used buttons in my > household. > > The quick nuke buttons (press button, it auto starts for 30 seconds, press > again, it adds 30 seconds) > > and... the magical popcorn button. > >  - Otherwise, I very much dig the dial approach > >   > > (((P

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