Sweet User Interface Design: The “A Bit More” Button

Here at CAKE we give a lot of thought to user interface design on websites. Today I want to tell you about a sweet user interface I love, which is not online, but rather in my kitchen. It’s our humble toaster oven’s control panel, the crowning glory of which is the “A Bit More” button. Let’s check it out. It kicks the average microwave control panel’s butt!

a toaster oven's great user interface design

♥ The “A Bit More” Button ♥

This button feels like magic. It always seems to know what you want. Say you want your toast a bit more toasted: just press the “a bit more” button and it gives the toast 30 seconds more toasting. Baking brownies and find they’re not quite done? Press the button and you get 5 more minutes at the temperature you’d been baking.

No matter which dial settings or temperature you are using, it knows what to do. I’m completely in love with this button and musing over how we can incorporate something like this into a website. A bit more content is the first thing that comes to mind, but I’m challenging myself to think of how, like on this toaster oven, it could be the most useful button ever.

Other Ways in Which This is a Great User Interface

The Cooking Dial

If I were designing a dial, I probably would not have thought to mix cooking methods and foods. It’s just not logical. But you know what—it works! Our guests seem to instantly know how to use this dial to get the kind of cooking they want going.

Here’s what it does: when you turn the dial to the method or food of your choice, it loads up an appropriate base time and temperature. So, if you turn to toast, you get the interface saying 2 slices and the darkness set to 3 (out of 4). Habitually toast only one slice and like it dark? It will remember you adjusted the slices and darkness last time you toasted and load that setting combination instead. Turn the dial to “Bake” and you get 20 minutes at 350° and can adjust from there. Once again, the oven will remember if you last baked at a different temp and for a different time.

Temp & Time Arrow Controls

These are sooooo much better than a numeric keypad. I’m saved from having to press three different buttons to get 12 minutes of cooking, and I don’t feel like I’m using a calculator in my kitchen. You can press it incrementally or hold the button down and the time adjusts. It goes in small increments if your dial is set to toast or bagel, and minutes (which speed up after 10) if you dial is set to bake, pizza, etc.

Shelf Height Labels

Cooking at the right distance from the heating elements is super important in baking, and this puts it front and center, so it’s easy to remember and get it right.

I’ll stop carrying on, but notice the rest of the controls are also smart and clean. This could totally replace all those confusing and annoying microwave control panels. Whoever designed this user interface, I seriously want to buy you a cake. 😉

Get One!

Want one for yourself? I highly recommend it not just for being easy to control; it also cooks adeptly and is a small-yet-mighty workhorse of a toaster oven. It’s a Breville BOV450XL Mini Smart Oven with Element IQ and you can buy one here.

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