Improved Interface : What Products Need One?

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I hate one of the phones in my house because of its stupid interface....too many weird buttons, no rhyme or reason as to the way that buttons work.

What small electronic devices do YOU have that could stand to have a better interface?


  • Reply 1 of 8
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Almost every single piece of consumer electronics, particularly anything made in Japan.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    I'm with Matsu. But in my house, the microwave sucks the most. It's a newer one with a dial instead of buttons (i.e. you call up the time or cooking settings with the dial).

    Imagine the pain of the Windows Start Button controlled by the tedium of the old QuickTime 4 volume Thumb Wheel.

    <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[oyvey]" />

    - Johnny Dangerously
  • Reply 2 of 8
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Car stereos. What a joke! My friend borrwed my car some time ago and he couldn't figure out how to turn down the volume. I can't blame him either. Some things require you to push, scroll, push and scroll, click, click and hold, click twice or three times. Bad.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    cubedudecubedude Posts: 1,556member
    Clock radios. Whenever I try to set the alarm, I accidently release the "Wake" button, and change the time on it, instead of the alarm.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    It seems that many bits of consumer electronica suffer from "too much" syndrome. A quick look at high end bits from Europe especially shows a complete lack of extraneous controls. Stereos are pared down to volume, source and select generally. But the same thinking prevades everything from dishwashers to tea kettles. Simplicity.

    When America or Asia trys to get around the problem the solution is often less than ideal. What's wrong with knobs? Control knobs? what could be simpler? When you look at the iPod's scroll system you realize that this is just a futuristic take of the control knob. Simplicity at its best.

    Clean, simple interfaces have been staring at us for years, why the heck aren't we using them?
  • Reply 6 of 8
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    To the credit of Asian design, they did bring the control knob back to the car at a time when the big 3 were f-ing about with the most horrible control systems known to man. I dunno what the state of in car control is now, but the goodies keep coming back for more than simply retro. Control knobs, switches, dials rather than readouts, they keep coming back for a reason (iThink). But for some reason Japanese electronics seem to be a ergonomic nightmare (appliances too).

    You only get a decent looking face and simplified control when you ante up for some of the more expensive product.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    Microwaves. There are three at my work and I have only figured out one of them. My old roommate had a very confusing one as well. The man hours we put into figuring that thing out (we never did). We had to laugh though: Between a guy who did all sorts of electronics and a guy that does a little of everything, we never got it figured out.

    I still can't find the "flash" button on my phone quick enough.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    The telephone I mentioned is a 2-line cordless with a built-in answering machine. The handset has an address book feature which is remarkably byzantine. It is so fabuck-ed up that one of the most offered choices by the phone is to ERASE ALL ENTRIES.

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