This is a true disaster. There are so many things wrong, I don't even know where to start. Perhaps I should tell the story of my first attempt to use it.
I grabbed a can of soup from the pantry, dumped it in a bowl, threw the bowl in the microwave, and... and... uh. Hold on. Hm.
The can said heat between 2:30 and 3:00, so I was thinking 2:40. Well, there were no numbers. I guessed the bigger button was a knob, despite having no markings. So, I tried turning it clockwise to add time. No dice. Nothing happened.
Maybe I had to start by clicking Start. I tried that, and again, nothing happened.
Next, I thought, well, sometimes, there's a "time cook" or "cook" button you have to hit before you can get started. So, I scanned for it and found it in the lower right hand corner. I pressed Cook, and it brought up a menu of which only part of it was legible in the display window at the top. I didn't want a menu. I just wanted some warm soup.
I found Off/Clear in the upper right hand corner and hit that button. Good, menu gone.
Then I noticed that below the knob there was a power button. Maybe the whole thing was powered off or something? I pressed it and still nothing happened. Wow. This thing is killing me.
I stood there for a sec, stunned I couldn't get a microwave to work. Then I remembered that the namelss knob was a little wobbly. Maybe I had to press it to start. Well, it turns out it is a pressable button, but it also does nothing. Finally, I resolved to actually read every individual button, and I finally saw Time Cook on the left side. I pushed that and then rotated the knob, which added time in 15-second increments. I then pushed Time Cook again to confirm and start. Nothing. So, I pushed the button/knob. It beeped but didn't start cooking. I scanned the buttons above and saw Start (only after dismissing it originally because it was also labled as Pause). Finally, I pushed Start and heated the soup for 2:45.
It might have been easier to cook it over a campfire.
So, what's wrong with this piece of shit. I could count at least ten independent things, almost all of which are noticeable just by looking it, and I'm sure there are many more build into the actual interaction.
Here are the flaws I found:
- No number pad. If I learn it takes 2:35 to boil a cup of water, that should be easy to do over and over again. Punch 2-3-5-Start. Done.
- Labels between buttons. If you glance at the left column, you can't tell which button corresponds to the Defrost label. You have to read the other labels before you can tell that labels are above buttons rather than below. Placing labels closer to their corresponding buttons would help.
- No context for Combination. The word "Combination" is a poor button label without context: combination of what? I guess it's a mix of convection cooking and standard nuking. This could be clarified by the relative position of the button, but at the top of the list, you just can't tell.
- Missing toggle indicator for Convection. I can hit Convection, then add time, but there's no indicator that it's actually on convection mode. A simple light embedded in the button would suffice.
- Floating Power button. I assume microwaves are always in "standby" mode, so it's probably not the same kind of "power button" my DVD player has. Changing the label to "Power Level" would resolve the confusion.
- Cook, not Time Cook. Obviously, you're cooking it for some amount of time, so what's the difference between Time Cook and Cook? Cook is a Sensor Cooking option so is a variable amount of time, but unless you also see that there's a separate Time Cook option you wouldn't know that.
- No label for the big knob. Other than sticking out farther, there's no indication it's actually rotates. Afer you turn it, there's no indication you can push it, which you can (or what pushing it would even do).
- Applicability of Sensor Cooking. Is the Options button inside or outside the Sensor Cooking section? It's not obvious, and yet would probably influence the user's expectations when clicking the button, perhaps even the context of the menu items listed after it's clicked.
- Defrost isn't Sensor Cooking. It turns out that Defrost is both a sensor and timed option. So, why does it not show up in the Sensor Cooking section? Once you push this button, you can push it again to toggle between sensor and timed options. So why is there one button with toggle for "defrosting" but two separate buttons for the corresponding "cooking" options? Jeez.
- Misplaced Clock and Timer buttons. Almost all microwaves are guilty of this. Why not put them next to the actual clock? I mean, I see the time. I also see it's wrong. I want to update it. The first button I see should be the one I need to push.
I thought I'd spend 15m taking a stab at an improved version of the interface without actually changing any of the functionality, settings, options, etc. Better? You tell me... but, God, I sure hope so.