I am after UX research into the design of ovens and/or cooktops, or research that can be applied to their design. Any references would be most appreciated, especially if they cover the experience and/or interaction of humans with kitchen appliances.


We recently installed a new kitchen which also included updating all our appliances.

Two of these appliances, an oven and a cooktop, have displayed what I consider to be poor UX design. Briefly described, these are:

  • Oven - After using the oven and switching it off, the fans continue running for up to half an hour. I originally reported this as a fault, but was told it's intentionally designed that way as a means of cooling the oven down after use. Unfortunately, from a user's perspective, the oven sounds as if it is still running (as though the switch is faulty and hasn't actually switched it off). Initially this caused us some concern whenever we left the house after its use. As a minimum, I would expect some sort of indicator that the oven is in some sort of cooling mode.
  • Cooktop - The cooktop has an audible warning system for various issues, one of which is designed to warn users when there's been a spill, such as water from a boiling saucepan. Unfortunately, from a user's perspective, this seems to be triggered too easily (e.g. simply wiping the cooktop down with a wet cloth will trigger the alarm).

Whilst I have provided feedback to the manufacturers I do not feel I was taken seriously, so I now want to write a brief paper and send it to them, explaining why they should consider these UX issues. Ideally I want to back it up with some research that is applicable (even if it's not directly about ovens/cooktops).

Thusfar, my search has not uncovered anything very useful (lots of Pinterest pages, some references to Microwave Ovens, and the fact the Bosch Series 8 oven has won a UX design award).

Anything of use would be greatly appreciated.

  • Make sure you get the knobs for the burners in the right arrangement.
    – user67695
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 19:24

2 Answers 2


For actual research I'd try googling around kitchen appliance design for disabled people (aka accessible design, or universal design)

The point about a universal design methodology is that what works for people with disabilities often works better for everyone.

There's some interesting stuff on the net which I've seen previously, but can't find !

However this came up which gives some ideas



Best Microwave UX: my microwave has two knobs - analog time, and five-position power. There is no clock of any kind. The light is not on when the door is open, only when the microwave is actually running. This is best because 1) a single knob is the easiest way to set the time, which need not be precise, 2) I don't need any more clocks, timers or keypads in the kitchen, 3) I can leave the door open when not using the microwave, so that it can air out. This is the absolutely best designed kitchen appliance I have seen.

Worse clothes washer UX: a well-designed horizontal-axis Maytag with buttons and a knob on the front edge of the machine... the knob for cycle selection also will power the machine on or off if touched. Many, many times I have bumped the knob with my shoulder or hip while unloading clothes, causing it to unwantedly power on, or powered it off during the wash cycle while bending down to the dryer located next to it. Get that knob to stop responding to touch at inappropriate times! There is a power button right next to the knob, it doesn't need to ALSO act as a power switch. If anyone had tested this even once they would have discovered it.

  • This is an interesting rant, but it doesn't actually answer the question.
    – jamesdlin
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 2:00
  • @jamesdlin the OP ends: "Anything of use would be greatly appreciated." I provided examples of good and bad UX in the controls for appliances. I would think that these examples would generalize to any sort of controls, particularly for other home appliances. But, my answer has less votes than all the other superior ones, right? Which is as it should be. No harm done.
    – user67695
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 12:00

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