Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Choosing a microwave

MicrowaveTypes of microwave controls

  • Manual controls, such as dials to set the time and power level. These are simple to operate, though they provide only basic features.
  • Electronic controls have more features. They may have buttons for specific foods or allow you to programme multiple stages of cooking.

Checklist

Putting food in

  • Is the door handle easy to grip?
  • If there is a push button for the door, is it easy to press?
  • Does the door open wide enough for you to reach in easily? Make sure nothing gets in the way when you position the microwave in your kitchen.
  • Is the turntable secure on its base?
  • Is the turntable easy to take in and out?

Electronic display

  • If the microwave has an electronic display, is it brightly lit?
  • Are text and numbers large and clear enough?
  • Is the information displayed easy to understand?

Controls

  • Are labels and markings large and do they contrast well with their background?
  • Are buttons easy to press? Large buttons that stick out are better.
  • Do touch controls beep to help you count through the settings?
  • Are dials large and easy to grip and turn?
  • Are positions on the dial well-spaced? Cramped settings need more precise control.
  • Are the controls well-spaced, so that you don't press the wrong one accidentally?

Interior light

  • Can you see the food while it’s cooking? There should be a bright interior light and not too much tinting/patterning on the glass.