We are down to the last stretch for our HCI project redesigning the microwave for universal accessibility without relying on language. Here are two of our most recent prototypes!
Here’s a quick description of what is common to both prototypes:
There are two variables you can adjust on a microwave–power level and time. For our microwave, we have a slider for power and a knob for time. If you turn the knob slowly, it adds time in small increments (such as 5 second increments). If you turn it quickly, it adds time in large increments (such as 30 seconds). (This is similar to scrolling through songs on an ipod–small movements scroll through individual songs, faster larger movements jump letters). The time and power level appear on the display as you adjust the slider or knob. Additionally, the microwave can be set to announce the time you are setting as you are setting it, in the language of your choice (thus making it more accessible for the visually impaired). Fiinally, the interior of the microwave is rounded, leaving no hard-to-clean corners.
What is different between the two prototypes: On the rendered prototype (the second door), the window on the door is also the screen. Also the interface is actually part of the door, so the whole front of the microwave opens.
Both microwaves have a timer bar, which fills completely when you press the large green concave start button and ticks down to zero so that you can tell from a distance how far along in the cooking process you are. However, on the physical prototype, the timer bar is the border on the interface. On the rendered prototype, timer bar is on the screen/window combination.