Microwave

20160902_081459I chose to use this microwave as an example of bad design. I have been using it for months, yet still don’t feel like I know how to use this with 100% certainty. each button has a number or symbol on it. The ones with the numbers cause the microwave to start as soon as one is pushed. Yes, I can assume that as the numbers go up, my food will cook for longer. But how do I know how long? Not only is this a problem, but when I press the buttons, the increments are all over the place. 1 is 20 seconds, 2 is 30 seconds, and 3 is a whole minute. Who came up with this? It is definitely not instinctive, and I struggle to always know how undercooked or burned my food may be. On the left, there are buttons with symbols…I haven’t even touched these other than the red cancel button. I’m really unsure what any of the others mean or do. According to Norman, things should be easy to tell what you are doing, such as the door example he gave. If you don’t know which part of the door to open, it may seem locked. If you don’t know which button to press on the microwave, it may seem broken.

One good part to the design, is that there is a number countdown that displays the time, after you have pressed a button. As a seasoned microwave user, I know to subtract from the countdown whatever time I actually meant to hit, and then I open up the door. The shape of the microwave, with a handle on the door, is intuitive.

Microwaves in general definitely fit into Eudomania. It helps people cook their food really fast. This is great, very life enriching, and helps one with everyday taskes. Unfortunately, there is less Enargeia present, as the visual representation is lacking.

I didn’t buy the microwave, and its provided to me free of charge at my place of work, so I guess I cannot complain too much. I would however, replace it if it were my own in my home. My microwave at home has number buttons you type in to create a time amount and then press start. This is more my style of microwave, ha!

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5 thoughts on “Microwave

  1. Wow, I never have seen a microwave like this before. It does look like it is as confusing as you described. For mine, I almost always use Quick 1 (1 minute), quick 2 (two minutes) and so forth. Even though there are more features I could use, I tend to use the quick minute choices. At work there is an older model microwave that has a turn knob for time and another turn knob for power.

  2. Looking at this microwave I can see many questions, my first question being:
    If you push the button with the symbol of the clock first and then try to push the number buttons, does it allow you to customize your cook time?

    Intuitively that would make sense that the company bought a very cheap and “simple” microwave that has very few features. Therefore the number buttons should double as 1) pre-set quick heat times and 2) customizable cook time buttons.

    However, I have seen so many variations of microwaves, that I must agree with you. They could be much more uniformly made or be made to adhere to a industry standard so everyone would know where to get started using one. Good call using your basic addition and subtraction to outsmart the tricky microwave! I definitely think some people overlook that possibility of just opening the door when you feel the food is done. I 100% agree with you that this microwave meets all the characteristics of Eudomania, because it indeed is how most people prefer to cook now a days, seeing how we more often than not are running from one thing to the next forgetting to eat of cook meals. The microwave has given everyone the opportunity to quickly heat up an old meal or a frown meal and have it ready within ten minutes.

    But when it comes to the characteristics of Enargeia, to wow the user, I am not sure I fully agree with you. You say that is does not meet any of the characteristics of Enargeia because the look of it is “lacking” and granted the buttons may seem confusing…but wouldn’t a person in a 3rd world country be extremely awestruck by the machines amazing powers? I think the hardest part of Enargeia lies in the perspective in which you look at the design from.

  3. This is honestly one of the most confusing microwaves I have ever seen. I’m not sure who designed this, but it looks like they’ve never seen a conventional, standard microwave before. The numbers and symbols are so confusing, why not just have the numbers mean how many minutes you want your food to be cooked for? 1 being 20 seconds and 2 being 30 seconds and 3 being 1 minute, who thought of that? And when they did, why did they think it was a good idea to setup the controls that way. I feel like Norman would have a field day ripping this design apart.

    I agree that most of the time microwaves fit into eudamania by their functionality and the ability to cook people’s food quickly and efficiently but with this one in particular, I think it’s lacking both eudamania and enargeia for the simple reason that it doesn’t seem like it could cook anything the right way and it looks very unappealing.

  4. It seems like they designed this microwave to look ‘different’ as opposed to ‘more functional.’ Visually, the number pad looks like a pattern and slightly sleeker. Functionally, this is very confusing. It seems like the designers attempted to put both more options and less at the same time, if that makes sense. I do appreciate how this microwave has brail printed on the buttons, which is probably why your workplace bought it. Thinking about that now, I wonder if the format of the buttons would be easier to read in brail than a typical microwave.

  5. The microwave is very confusing. Either the number you press means the number of minutes you are putting your food in for or it’s a pre-set setting. Depending on the microwave you don’t know until you star pressing buttons. What I do like is the setting that says “popcorn” “pizza” and so on. Those are awesome! Those help so much! But the designs are very eye appealing so is makes you want to buy them. But I do agree they need to make a simple sheet on what either the number is the minutes or a certain setting

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