In my previous post, I failed to mention the control I redesigned. I choose a knob on my gas stove.

gas stove knob


  • Turning the knob to Lite, which is also the highest gas setting, releases more gas than is necessary for pilot light to ignite gas.
  • There is no indication of the lowest gas setting. Gas is often turned off attempting to set the flame at its lowest setting. Gas ranges turn off before reaching Off as a safety measure.
  • It is difficult to determine the heat setting while cooking. User needs to bend over to see flame to judge current level. There is no indication of low, medium, which are commonly referred to settings in recipes.
  • It can be difficult to know that a particular range is on if the flame is low or a pot is on the range.
  • The arrow is not an indication of the setting.

Rendered Redesign

knobs rendered

Demand the Right Solution

John seemed to like my redesign (hurray!). However, in what I’m learning to be typical John fashion, he asked, “Who wants gas but no flame?”

The answer, of course, is no one (we hope). So the real problem is not where Light is located but rather that there should not be a Light. If the intent of the user is to turn the range on, at any level, there should be a flame. On is on.

He said the redesign is good given the current function of the system, but made a point of saying that we need to make the engineers work for us, and not the other way. We must ask the engineers for the right solution.

I said I didn’t know we could do that for this assignment. “That’s our job,” he said.