We have a great example of this: the Tyent UCE-9000 Water Ionizer has a fantastic interface inspired by the Apple iPhone. This is without a doubt, the easiest to use appliance you will have in your kitchen.
All Household Appliances Should Be Made By AppleAlexia Tsotsi
Like many of you, I am visiting family this holiday season and nowhere does gadget snobbery become more apparent than during gatherings with loved ones. Aside from the ubiquitous â€œWhose phone is faster?â€ question, which in my case led to an email race at Christmas dinner, there is endless potential for the marginally tech savvy to show off during the holidays.
But all the superiority gleaned from being able to load non-iTunes purchases into your momâ€™s iPod is tossed out the window when faced with a relativeâ€™s overly complex coffee machine, an arbitrarily complicated alarm clock and two separate indecipherable TV remotes for one TV.
In my first encounter with my familyâ€™s new Cuisinart Coffee Maker CHW-12 Cup Programmable with Hot Water System, I ended up confused by the superfluous â€œHot Water Systemâ€ and poured the water intended for coffee in there instead of the coffee maker, costing myself an extra 20 minutes trying to figure out how to extract coffee from the infernal thing. I almost went to Starbucks.
Many people received iPads and iPhones this Christmas, and because of Appleâ€™s legendary intuitive and straightforward design, could pull them right out of the box and commence using. Not the case with a battery powered pepper grinder one of my relatives received at our gift exchange. It took three people to put together and when we did get it to work, we hilariously realized that it had a flashlight at the bottom, for no reason. Novel? yes. Productive? No.
In my own home, I use a Deâ€™Longhi Magnifica espresso machine, which is the closest thing to what would happen if Apple made a coffee machine. With literally a push of a button, it grinds coffee beans, brews them and even cleans itself afterwards.
I am not alone in the quest for simpler appliance design, Coding Horrorâ€™s Jeff Atwood is similarly befuddled by the controls interface of a microwave:
â€œI was struck, the other day, by how much I had to think when attempting to heat up my sandwich in the microwave. There are so many controls: a clock, a set of food-specific buttons, defrost and timer controls, and of course a full numeric keypad. Quick! What do you press?â€
The saddest thing is that appliances used to be simpler. Old style microwaves used to have one knob, that only represented time. Now weâ€™ve got a controls for various foods and buttons for â€œMore,â€”Less,â€”Dinner Plate,â€”Defrost,â€ the cryptic â€œAuto-Defrostâ€ and so on when all we end up doing is putting our Hot Pockets in there and trial and erroring our way to the perfect cooking time. â€œHmm, this looks like it is about done.â€
Dieter Ramâ€™s appliance designs for Braun, which inspired the design team at Apple, hearken to a pre-digital touchpad era when design aspired to help us understand products or at least be unobtrusive. I guess I have the seventies to thank for the fact that Iâ€™ve got a radio alarm clock next to me right now that I have never used because I seriously canâ€™t figure out how to the set the controls to get it to wake me up. I use my iPhone.
Notice how the title of this post isnâ€™t â€œAll Appliances Should Be Made By Appleâ€ or even â€œAll Computers Should Be Made By Appleâ€ (or the byline would be something along the lines of â€œMG Sieglerâ€). There are moments in life where you need a PC, but there arenâ€™t many where you need your coffee maker to also warm water for tea, your pepper holder to double as a flashlight, or one remote to turn on your TV and another to change the channel.