Everyday Usability 5 – Stove

Everyday Usability 5 – Stove

A stove is a classic example of an everyday device that we can struggle using. Don Norman described an example in his book. I will add my experience in the following.

Recently we moved into a new flat which already had an in-built kitchen. The stove has a ceramic stove top and a control field with five small touch buttons (photo below). One button turns the stove on and off and the other four buttons adjust the temperature at a specific cooking plate. Those buttons were on the stove top surface near the front edge. Each button included a visual mark, but there was little haptic feedback. The cooking plates and control buttons are on continuous smooth surface. Positioning the controls on the top was not a good choice. Whenever the touch surface became wet, for example, something cooked over, spilled or simply while cleaning the ceramic top it went into an error mode beeping and blinking. The error mode lasted until I dried the stove top (more exactly I dried it as quickly as possible to stop the annoying beeping). Additionally, it is not possible to properly interact with the buttons with a wet finger. Wet surfaces and wet fingers are part of a normal kitchen environment. The touch surface might has been state of the art at the time it was built, but it lacks to support basic conditions in the kitchen.

Everyday usability: stove
usability stove
Share, if you like it:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *