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Mystifying Iron

In line with the Norman reading, someone who knows what they’re doing may have have less trouble with this than I did. I bought an Iron because I’m terrible at folding my clothes and they’re wrinkly all the time. After purchasing this thing though, I had no idea how to operate it. I knew water went somewhere and I knew I was supposed to press some buttons, but who knows what? One has a little cloud and the other looks like a little volcano. There is also a dial on top with half of the settings hidden from view. My first attempt was a disaster, boiling water spilled everywhere. This thing towers over me.

Also I know I’m not the only one having re-sizing issues when I post – has anyone figured out how to avoid that yet?




UGH! I hate irons. How come that water spilling over happens to me no matter what iron I’m using? I wish everything was still old school. I can’t remember which one is for a puff of steam, the volcano or the cloud. Either way irons are poorly mapped.


Yes, because volcanoes make steam clouds, and steam clouds ARE steam clouds, so which do I press to make steam clouds? What the hell, Black & Decker. What the hell.

Joel Skelton

This touches on how the technological world words. As time progresses, technology is given more tools, making it more complex under the guise of making it simpler.

Erin Hutson

I like how you took the picture at the base of the iron, to make it look taller and to symbolize how it literally and figuratively “towers” over you. I can appreciate how Black and Decker is trying to be sleek with the iron design, but it does look like it would be confusing to run. Good luck, I won’t judge you if your clothes are wrinkly in class!!


I also liked the visual actually “towering” over the viewer, it connected emotion behind your point. I think the iron was an excellent example of a poorly constructed conceptual model and provides minimal feedback (besides disaster in your case) because you don’t know if what you’re pushing is the correct function or not.


Bryan- Irons are not my thing either. I never use them and probably look like a keep all my clothes in a ball all the times but what can ya do? I don’t even understand why it has to have buttons, isn’t it just a hot plate you run over your clothes to make them smooth? Beats me…Good example!


I’m with Lauren on that last bit, i just turn it on, turn the dial and start running it over my cloths, iv never burnt anything, haven’t ironed a shirt perfectly neither, but iv learned to live with that. In a case as this one the main problem is the designers desire to reduce the directions to a minimum and while symbols sometimes do give a message and are easy to understand, its not always the case. Another problem is the fact that every iron has these dials with theirs clouds and volcano’s but it seems the designers just don’t understand that just because each iron has these it does not mean that people understand them!

Kelly Martin

That’s it. After reading these comments, I’ve decided we need to have an ironing tutorial. Maybe at the end of class. Irons are a wonderful thing everyone. I was laughing out loud at ” because volcanoes make steam clouds, and steam clouds ARE steam clouds, so which do I press to make steam clouds?” I must need more sleep…

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