While I placed my slices of bread into the toaster oven, I set the very top dial to “toast”, the middle dial to “350”, and I rotated the bottom dial to the dot before the number “5”. I assumed that I had set the kitchen appliance to toast my bread at 350 degrees for just under five minutes. The oven began ticking and with this assuring noise, I walked away for a bit. I came back to find that my bread didn’t toast! It turns out, you have to set the time dial past the number “5” to actually have the toaster oven warm up. What?!
At first glance, the design for changing the settings on this toaster oven looks fairly simple, like reading something from top to bottom. There are three dials aligned vertically. The first setting is how you want the toaster oven function, followed by the temperature and timing. The text on each dial circles around the center. This allows the user to easily follow and see the next options each dial offers. The handles on the dials fit comfortably between your thumb and index fingers to rotate the dials either clock-wise or counter-clockwise.
There’s something to appreciate on how the timer is the last option you set. It makes sense, you set all the other settings first. Once you have them to your liking, you are ready to set the timer to begin cooking.
After you set the timer, there is a ticking noise that lets you know that the timer is counting down. The dial will slowly rotate towards the “0” until you hear a “ding!” noise that tells you whatever you were cooking is done. Upon further inspection, the red power light at the very bottom of the dials will light up if the toaster oven is warming up. The red light will turn off once the timer reaches zero as well.
I found it odd that the toaster oven does not heat up if you set the timer below five minutes. I find it even stranger that you have to turn the dial clockwise past the five minute mark and turn the dial the counter-clockwise if you want to heat something for less than five minutes.
I also felt that the red light bulb is not in the right spot. It is easily missable when you have your hand on the last dial. Your hand blocks the view of the red light. What’s the point of it if it gets blocked by your hand? Would it be better somewhere else?
Design-wise, the toaster oven visually tells the user the different settings they can choose from. It also uses sound to let you know that the timer is counting down. Lastly, the toaster oven uses the red light bulb to let you know whether or not it is heating up. The toaster oven and the way it communicates how it works shows a characteristic of eudamonia ; fulfillment. You get to control how the appliance works and you get what want cooked perfectly to your taste.