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September 29, 2005 12:04 AM

Broken: Cylinda stove

CylindastovePedro Adler writes:

Countless times I wanted to turn on the top right plate but instead, because of the bad design, I turned on the middle (lower) plate. Also, the icons above the buttons are misleading - look at the rightmost icon!


whats with the totally random placement of the plates....

ur gonna get a lot of not brokens 4 this.

Posted by: gmangw at September 29, 2005 12:21 AM

I've never seen a three plate stove, specially' one this weird...

Thanks for sharing. Yes, broken.

Posted by: Robyn at September 29, 2005 01:27 AM

I'll go out on a limb here, for once, and say I'm not seeing how this is broken. The icons show the light corresponding to the burner with respect to the other two burners.The top burners are either right or left, and the bottom burner doesn't matter if its' right or left, because its' the only one on the bottom.

Posted by: Grey Hodge at September 29, 2005 04:16 AM

not broken

there are three knobs and you can't remember which is which? what order do you want them in?

and the icons are not misleading, it took me about 2 seconds to figure out one was the bake/broil knob and the other was the temp knob and whatknott.

Posted by: ron at September 29, 2005 04:16 AM

Pft, one vote for broken here.

The icons over the element controls don't reflect the appearance of the top of the stove at all. More work required there.

It's difficult to say which way around the controls would be most intuitive, because of the bizarre layout of the plates, which also appear to be too close together. I'd probably expect the control for the nearest plate to either be on the left, or in the middle though.

Posted by: Alden Bates at September 29, 2005 06:38 AM

vote for broken, the icon says the burner is in the bottom left. this would change the order of the burners right now its 123(the center being #2) but if you move the center one to the right it would become number three and that would be right.

Also the knobs have the tempratures awkwardly placed.

Posted by: Vic at September 29, 2005 07:35 AM

okay, it is both broken and not. the fact that it has three burners, and the placement of the burners is ultr-broken. However, the icons about the knobs clearly correspond with the *broken* burners. I think it is a logical order anyway. Also, if you have had this stove for any period of time then you should be used to the switch by now. my vote is 3/4 not broken.

Posted by: yoyo at September 29, 2005 08:10 AM

It's a poor design.

Problem #1 is the design of the icons to represent the burners. They simply don't reflect the actual burner placement.

Problem #2 is the ordering of the knobs relative to the placement of the burners. Moving from left to right, the burners are visually ordered upper left burner, lower burner, upper right burner. It would be more natural to order the knobs to reflect the visual order. A better layout for the knobs would be to actually offset them rather than line them up horizontally. In this way you, could recreate the triangle pattern of the burners with the same pattern for the knobs providing for a complete direct mapping of knobs and burners.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at September 29, 2005 08:25 AM

The problem is in the natural (spacial) mapping we try. Sure it's labeled appropriately, but the spatial mapping we apply would have the knob on the far right control the burner on the far right. This is a problem discussed in either "Design of Everyday Things" or "Emotional Design" by Donald Norman- except discussing linear control knobs controlling a square layout (as most traditional stoves. I say broken because it violates a natural mapping.

Posted by: Eddie Lopez at September 29, 2005 09:19 AM

Carlos Gomez is spot on here. He said it better than I did.

(Sorry about my typos)

Posted by: Eddie at September 29, 2005 09:33 AM

Carlos Gomez is spot on here. He said it better than I did.

(Sorry about my typos)

Posted by: Eddie at September 29, 2005 09:38 AM

Plus the oven temperature is in Celsius, which would be broken if this is the U.S.

Posted by: 123 at September 29, 2005 09:55 AM

Broken is the biggest 'burner' is in the front, because you'd have to reach over/around it to stir pots on the smaller 'burners'... clearly this is not a stove designed for doing multi-course meals. You'd be lucky to get pasta plus any other dish going at once without burning yourself.

Posted by: sir_flexalot at September 29, 2005 10:00 AM

design is definitely broken.

Posted by: chaos at September 29, 2005 10:25 AM

That is one ugly-ass stove.

Posted by: DangDang at September 29, 2005 11:25 AM

I disagree with sir flexalot. I use the large burners for frying pan, wok, which should be closest; and the smaller burners for sauces or boiling things, which can be left unattended for longer. So, since they decided to only have three burners, this is not a bad burner placement.

But it would be easier to use if the knobs reflected the burners. Even if you were constrained to the same space, you could do this:


Posted by: Reed at September 29, 2005 01:51 PM

... my design could also have the little maps showing relation of the other burners along with the LED, that certainly helps, and the Cylinda designers put the LED insid the little map which is a good idea.

Posted by: Reed at September 29, 2005 01:54 PM

My initial reaction was to say this stove wasn't broken since it took me just a few seconds to clearly and beyond doubt figure out what is each knob for. However, I ended up deciding that it is broken because of it's bad design.


Posted by: SAM at September 29, 2005 02:26 PM

This is not just broken, but canonically broken. Don Norman writes about these sorts of stove designs in the first book even written in history about This is Broken.

PS - Mark's new feature which just blocked THIS POST with a warning that it was 'to combat malicious posting' is BROKEN.

Posted by: J. Scott at September 29, 2005 03:28 PM

Reed- Is that some kind of weird water molecule?

Mr. Scott- That's the Double-Posting screen. If you just posted somewhere, you hafta click OK to be able to post again.

Posted by: Bob at September 29, 2005 03:53 PM


It's a spam detector jumping in. I had that happen to me as well. I tried to post a URL to the FDA website as a reference to "unsweetened" in a previous topic. It would not let the post go through until I removed teh URL. The spam detector thinks any comment with a URL must be spam for a website.


Nice knobs. I noticed that you've changed the size of the knob so that it matches with the larger burner. An interesting solution to the problem.


You've hit on one of the keys to good design. Yes, we can memorize which knob goes with which burner. But there's no memory involved when there is a natural mapping ebtween the two. No thinking. No remembering.

Posted by: Carlos Gomez at September 29, 2005 05:23 PM

broken AND not broken.

broken-it's a three burner stove!! (with room for a 4 if they'd move that big one over).

broken--they can't match up the placement of the pictures of the burners with the actual placement of the burners.

not broken--well the bottom burner in the pic above the knob is obviously for the most bottom burner weather it's on the left or right....IT'S ON THE BOTTOM! (Although some people I guess may think there is a burner on the bottom of the other two burners and they tear thier oven apart trying to find it).

Posted by: noname at September 29, 2005 08:10 PM

Oh, i didn't know TIB had a spamblocker. Of course, you could always put the URL under your name.

Posted by: Bob at October 1, 2005 12:44 PM

I have a book called "man-machine engineering" written in 1965 (author Alphonse Chapanis) which has a long section on stove-top design, and it was old hat THEN. Broken.

Posted by: Simon Trew at October 1, 2005 06:00 PM

What planet is that thing from ???

- Tis' Broken -

Posted by: Tim D M at October 5, 2005 05:59 AM

There is a Left burner. A Right burner and a Front burner. The Icons reflect this.

I suggest you don't cook without adult supervision!

BTW: Yes, the stove is ugly and poorly designed but was probably the cheapest one available, thus the reason for the purchase.

Conclusion: NOT BROKEN

Posted by: Jcardo at January 28, 2006 03:05 PM

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