The electric stovetop in Fig.
1 is different from a typical user's conceptual model. Associations with LTM are
moderate due to the use of controls, less familiar for this type of
device. However, because the plus and minus controls (as shown in Fig.
2) are less familiar
to users of appliances, as such controls are more frequently used in
high-tech electronic goods, the ability to update their conceptual model will be
more problematic. Furthermore, the design is cluttered with too many similar
shapes, weakening associations between components and making it
difficult to distinguish functions.
The design could be greatly improved by
reducing its cognitive load by clearly separating the mappings of the
burners and their controls from the other controls as shown in Fig.
3 creating a stronger spatial analogy. Associations between the plus and minus could also be
increased by adding red for hot and blue for cooler
Fig. 1. Electric Stovetop with Confusing Controls
Fig. 2. Cluttered Control Panel
Fig. 3. Improved design reduces cognitive load by
associations between the controls,
their function, and their