Pressure Project #1

Description of Analyzed Experience

I use a toaster to toast various items somewhat inconsistently throughout the year. For example: plain bread slices, normal size bagels, mini bagels, hamburger buns, waffles, english muffins, Toaster Strudels, and Toaster Scramblers. Sometimes they are white and sometimes they are wheat. Sometimes they are frozen. Other times they are flavored or even have fruit in them. Each of these variations requires slightly different toaster settings. I mostly get it right the first time but occasionally I mess up and burn or under toast the bread. This issue appears more often when I use the toaster after a roommate has changed the settings since the last time I used it.

Illustration of Analyzed Experience

IMG_0767

Design Process – AEIOU

Activity

  • Toasting wheat products in a conventional oven.
  • Waiting for toaster to finish toasting.

Environment

  • Kitchen
  • Countertop

Interaction

  • Placing bread within the toaster.
  • Pushing toaster buttons.
  • Turning toaster dial.
  • Pulling toaster lever down.
  • Pulling toaster out of toaster.

Objects

  • Toaster
  • Wheat products/foods for toasting
  • Plate

Users

  • Person who currently wants toast and is using the toaster.
  • Anyone who previously used the toaster.

Proposed Intervention Description

Put a digital display with 0-9 numbered buttons and two arrow buttons. The toaster would function somewhat like a microwave. Users would select from the users that were previously added to the toaster and then select a preset toaster food from the menu. After the toaster is done, it asks the user to rate the toast job on a scale from 0-10 where 0 represents “not toasted” and 10 represents “burnt.” The toaster records this rating, associates it with the user and then adjusts it’s toasting job for next time.

Proposed Intervention Illustration

IMG_0769

Written Reflection

Most things don’t bother me enough to stick in my mind as something I would change to make better and throughout the semester my life remains pretty routine and boring. So identifying what I believed was a machine-human interaction failing was a little difficult

Most of my time was spent sitting in the library staring into the distance in deep and profoundly existential thought about toasters. Thinking back on that I now realize how quickly I was iterating through my ideas about my toaster experience. If I didn’t like something, instead of writing down what I was thinking, I would repeatedly adjust my idea ever so until I liked what I envisioned in my head and then I would write down what I believed was good enough to write down. ie Almost all of the work happened in my head. I think this happened because I only had to convince myself of what I was thinking. I like hearing what other people think because it makes me see things from another perspective and helps me come up with some other interesting ideas.

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