October 23rd, 2010

About the microwave thing

My home microwave has a button called Minute Plus. When you press it, it adds one minute to the current time. It also starts the cycle, if it isn't already running. So, if you want to microwave something for two minutes at full power, you just hit Minute Plus twice and that's it.

The Start and Stop button are of identical size and prominence.

The office microwave has a button called Quick Minute. It adds one minute to the time but does not start the cycle-- you have to hit Quick Minute - Quick Minute - Start if you want a two-minute cycle at full power. The Stop and Start buttons are the same size, more or less, but the Stop button is graphically prominent-- I think it's outlined.

I find the UI on the one I have at home to be much more useful than the one at the office. It requires less button-pushing for the tasks I use most often. Plus, I'm constantly hitting Stop rather than Start at work.

I'm a huge fan of optimizing for the things that people do most frequently. For my usage patterns, at least, my home oven has a far superior design. It looks like most people agreed with me on both counts.