Poor Interface Design: Oven Temperature Dial

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How can a dial go MIN->MAX->MED->HI?
I’ll tell you how: FAIL

Posted by Anthony on 2 replies


01. Apr 9, 2008 at 08:42pm by Tasha:

Dorky, that whole left side is ’low’, it’s just the min to max range of low.  That’s nice, a lot of stoves don’t have that low, simmer feature.

02. Apr 9, 2008 at 09:03pm by Anthony:

One would assume, and perhaps hope, that MAX there does not mean MAX but actually means "end of the simmer range."  But the fact remains that a dial on which MAX comes before MED is poorly designed.

The worst part is how easy and obvious it is to fix this design: simply remove the word MAX altogether.  It would be no less clear that turning the dial from MIN to MED increases the temperature, whether you’re within the simmer range or not.

The dial is a simple and well-understood interface by now; there’s just no reason to mess with the eons of experience that humans have with dials by rearranging the stops on the dial.

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