Application of EMI: Gas Stovetop Design  

3.  Availability Design 

Back ~ C1A2 ~ A3 ~ L4 ~ L5 ~ L6        

The Frustration of Interference and 
New Information that is Difficult to Associate

Episodic Model Associations Matrix

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 temperatures.  

Fig. 1.
Electric Stovetop with Confusing Controls

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Fig. 2. Cluttered Control Panel

Fig. 3. Improved design reduces cognitive load by
 strengthening associations between the controls, 
their function, and their corresponding burners.

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