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Better Experience #16: Toasted, Not Roasted 🍞🔥

Achieving the perfect brown gradient on your toasted bread.

Briandito Priambodo
Mar 28 · 3 min read

Better Experience Design is a collection of arbitrary encounters with everyday things that have given us either delightful or stressful experience.


1. What is it and what is the purpose?

Toasters were made to perform the task of toasting/grilling your bread. Hence the name, toaster.

Toaster animation by Jonas Mosesson

2. Why/When did I use it?

Every time I want to eat a warm, crunchy bread – toaster is the answer.

3. Was it a delightful or stressful experience? Why?

I don’t know about you — and there are lots of toaster types — but for me, it was a stressful experience. To understand the calamity, first, take a look at this picture.

The toaster is controlled using a dial, and a stop button.

1. The numbers on the dial do not help in telling how long my bread would be toasted

It is not clear what the number stands for. Minutes? Seconds? Temperature?

2. The icons do not have a clear description

Having an icon to indicate something is good – but useless if users can’t decipher the meaning behind the icon.

3. From eye-level, the numbers and icons look just like random dots

The third time I burnt my bread, I bowed down and checked out the ‘dots’ closer. To my surprise, those are actually numbers. The fact that I have a bad eye and don’t wear my glasses around the house doesn’t help either.

My reaction when I realized those were numbers, not dots.

4. Can it be better?

Yes. Of course. Here’s how I would improve it.

Make the indicator size bigger

A toaster could be placed on the dining table, kitchen island, or anywhere the user wants it to be. To help the user accomplish their task easily, make the usage direction clear.

Lose the random numbers and icons, use something more explanatory

The icons were not very clear. Why don’t we remove it and just use some texts that describe the purpose of those icons?

Use shades of toasted bread colors and let users choose how brown they want the bread to be

The cherry on top. Instead of numbers, use images. Show the user that if you press this button, you’ll get this color. We don’t need to make the user think about: “How many seconds do I need to make it golden brown?”.

Giving the information straight forward and not mislead users with useless directions.

5. What do you think?

We think this might make a better experience of getting a toast bread. What do you think?


Better Experience Design is a collection of arbitrary encounters with everyday things that have given us either delightful or stressful experience.

Better Experience Design

Better Experience Design is a collection of arbitrary encounters with everyday things that have given us either delightful or stressful experience.

Briandito Priambodo

Written by

https://briandito.co - Product Designer and Writer

Better Experience Design

Better Experience Design is a collection of arbitrary encounters with everyday things that have given us either delightful or stressful experience.

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