Activity 5: Toasters

Answer the Assignment question from the textbook on pages 464- 465. Put your answer in your Portfolio and Weebly site.


Toasters are normally a fairly basic design as far as white goods are concerned with little change in basic functionality over the last 10 or so years. Then again it is only meant to fulfill a fairly basic function, cook toast.

The toaster I own only has a few controls and even then there are a couple of controls I have never used. The question then arises, how much high tech functionality does the average user really want from a toaster. What would be the point of adding new functionality and a new interface such as an LED screen?

My current toaster does everything I need with just a few basic controls and even then I never bother to use the “Reheat”, “Defrost” and “Crumpet” buttons

The problem with the non-critical functions is that when a user tries the “Reheat” button it takes too long to reheat the toast. Likewise the “Defrost” button takes too long to defrost the bread and the “Crumpet” button results in undercooked crumpets. It is fine to add extra functions into a toaster if customers want those features but if they do not work as expected/required then it just adds another layer of complexity and cost for very little in return.

This same problem would probably result if toasters had a radical design change such as the inclusion of an LED screen to control functions. Users would most likely find added complexity and cost yet would not actually get the result of better quality toast.

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