Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Design features worth looking for

High contrast

Strong visual definition from the background.

image of high contrast electric hob plates

high contrast controls

This electric plate hob has high contrast heating zones (far left).

The controls are easy to identify on the front of a free standing cooker (left).

 

Lip around top surface of hob

Spillages.

image of cooker with lip around the hob

another image of a sunken well to capture spilages

This electric plate hob has a well around the plates which provides an easy place to capture any spillages (far left).

Gas hob with a sunken well to capture any spillages (left).

 

Tactile feedback of pan location on hob

Feel the position of the active cooking area through the placement of pots and pans.

image of electric cooker with well defined plates

image of gas hob with poor pan location and support area

The electric plate hob has a stable and well defined area to place pots and pans (far left).

Here is a gas hob with a poor pan location and support area (left).

 

Positive switch-off features

Safety features which help ensure the cooker is turned off.

image of press-in temperature dial

image of gas hob with splash back glass cover

The on/off temperature dial is recessed (far left)

This cooker disconnects the gas supply when the glass cover is pulled down (left).

Note: Most gas hobs are fitted with a failure safety device where if the flame goes out, the gas supply will be turned off.

Safety - minimising reach over hot surfaces

Consider how much you need to reach over or into a hot cooking area.

image of hob with controls on the front

image of oven with pull out shelves

The controls on the front of the cooker means your hands are away from the hot ceramic plates (far left).

Pull out shelves which minimise the need to reach into a hot oven (left).

Avoiding bumping into open oven doors

Look for features which are tidy and won't catch your body or clothes.

image of oven with slide under door

image of oven with handle that sticks out

An oven door which slides underneath the oven when it is pulled down so it won't get in your way (far left).

The handle sticks out and could catch on your clothes (left).

 

Tactile feedback of controls

Controls that click when you turn them will help locate the dial to a setting. These clicks can be counted and memorised.

image of controls with a well defined point on them

image of well defined clickable heating settings

Both photos show well defined clickable heating control dials.

The left photo show heating settings from 1 to 6.

 

Tactile indicators of controls

Bumps and marks about the dial to help indicate the position.

image of dials with handles on

another example image of well defined clickable heating settings

There are dials with handles that indicate their position so you can count the steps from the top of the dial (far left).

Here is another dial with clear tactile indicators of their position (left).

Push-in / pop-out buttons

Look for elements which give tactile indications of control state or position.

image of control buttons that stay pushed in

another image of push-in pop-out buttons

Both images show buttons that stay pushed in or pop out to indicate on or off.

 

 

Audio

Look for audio to indicate cooking appliance settings.

image of audio icon

image of talking microwave

Warning sounds can be great but too many 'beeps' and 'tings' can get confusing.

Talking microwaves speak the control funtions and settings.

More information about these can be found by clicking here.

 

 

TIP: use a talking wrist watch to time your cooking

 

Last updated: January 2015


What would make cooking easier for you? | Design features worth looking for| Design features to avoid