Bad Microwave User Interface

My office has recently upgraded the kitchen and it is very nice.
I used the microwave for the first time today, and I was flummoxed- am I missing something or is this the dumbest UI for a kitchen ever? There are no instructions available and the manual is nowhere to be found, but I thought “who needs a manual to use a microwave”?

The microwave looks very nice- all shiny stainless steel, very few buttons- this machine says “I am a professional, and by association, by using me you too are a professional”:

Microwave 01

Mr Professional

I am used to Microwaves having a million different ‘helpful’ modes (asking me questions like “Do you wish to clarify ghee?”, “Do you wish to wort yeast?”, “Do you wish to sterilise bread?”) but they all have at least a power option and a time option, and nine times out of ten I set it at the default- 100% power for one minute.

This microwave has a “Power” option, and even though the position of the “more” and “less” buttons was confusing at first, I worked it out:

Microwave 02

The Illusion of Full Power

But in working it out, if you select “less” power (the down arrow) you can’t increase the power back up to 100- it stays at a maximum of “P95”:

Microwave 03

The closest you'll ever get

Now this is the really stupid part- no power selection. I spent a few frustrating minutes trying to work out how to set the power. There is no power button- why? The “weight defrost” and “time defrost” do work, but you have to set a weight and or time- I don’t want to defrost, I want to reheat. I kept on having to press the “Stop/Clear” button to start again.

The “Auto Cook” button also doesn’t allow you to enter a power setting, but gives you a default “auto reheat” symbol and the option to enter in weight in grams. HOW AM I EXPECTED TO GUESS HOW MUCH SOMETHING WEIGHS? I am reheating last nights dinner for today’s lunch- I don’t know how much it weighs nor do I have a scale handy.

Microwave 04

I'll have 350gms of lunch thanks

Nothing I pressed could make other icons appear, or even gave me an indication of what they did. In the end selecting 350 grams by trial and error gave me 2 minutes and 20 seconds, so I went with that.

What a terrible set of controls. It’s like a TV that instead of giving you a volume knob, gives you set volume options of “Concert Hall”, “Library”, “Grandstand”, “Beach”- options that don’t really translate to ‘quiet’ and ‘loud’.


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