Posts Tagged ‘user interface’

Review of Candy Alisè GO W 465 D washing machine and tumble dryer

January 11th, 2011

Short story:

I have combined washing machine and tumble dryer that seems to do its job.  But like with most washing machines today the user interface is created by twelve pidgeons and a monkey.  When it fails it doesn’t give a serious clue about what is wrong.

Long story:

A review of a combined washing machine and tumble dryer is not very technical.  But it is very much user interface and as such it is close to software development.  Like how we did software user interfaces 20 years ago.

The machine seems to do the washing good and the tumble drying ok during the two weeks I have had it.  It is a centimeter or two shallower than the competitors I looked at which was good in my case.

But the user interface…

To its defense I must say that all washing machines I have tried have stoopid UIs, possibly with the exception of the very simple ones which work like the mechanics inside it which is possible to grasp.

Let me start with a disease in every modern washing machine I have tried; the lag between opening-allowed and opening-possible.  The machine is finished.  The water is pumped out.  The pump has stopped working.  Sometimes even the key sign has been switched off.  Why do we have to wait 30 more seconds before it is possible to open the door?
That was the easiest, most blatant, example of no-brain-design-this-user-interface.
Another almost as simple here: Machine just started and you notice something you forgot to put in the machine.  The water hasn’t started flowing yet so the machine is dry.  Now you have to wind through the whole program, pressing a button for 20 seconds.  For one Wascator machine I had to release it at spin dry and then press it again for 10 seconds.  Finally waiting 30 more seconds for being allowed to open the door.
The Candy I am reviewing here doesn’t have that sort of fast forward so instead one turns it off.  And then to a program to turn it on again.  And after that I haven’t had to figure out yet.

The graphics are also nice/friendly even though I don’t get why it has invented a new icon for wool.

If you want to wash at 95 degrees you have to set it to cotton and prewash.  All other settings refuses to let the temperature go above 60.  Why?  It is my clothes and I might want to wash something in 95 for 20 minutes.  Or without prewash.
On the other hand – with prewash runs faster than without.  There is probably a perfectly good reason for that. But it eludes me

There is a play/pause button.  That isn’t that.  When tumble trying; it is a Play:start tumble trying and Pause:stop heating the air and change to 20 minutes(or 10 if it was 5 before).
You don’t understand what I wrote? The programmers probably didn’t either.

It does Not have 2 water inlets, one for cold and one for hot.  In Sweden it is often cheaper buying water heated centrally than heating it with in the washing machine.  It is also faster since the water is already heated up.

It does not manage to empty the washing powder slot properly.

The time-remaining-of-spin-drying calculator is built by the same guy that built WindowsXP time-remaining-of-copy-file where 1 minute is anything between 1 and 15.

The top is flat but has lining around the sides that makes dirt and washing powder not being easily wept off but instead caught in the linings.  It probably has something to do with how the machine is assembled in factory.

The door is not rehingable from left to right.  It is possible on every refrigerator I have seen, except the very trendy ones, the last 30 years.  But no washing machine has it.

We are figuring out the user interface bit by bit and are sometimes positively surprised where someone has done a bit of good thinking.

Finally an example that is visible in so many modern washing machines: the program wheel.
In the old days we used a mechanical clock with relays to turn stuff on and off.  The wheel to set this clock was situated to the side due to its size, normally right.  Today we still have this wheel but it is just an electric switch connected to a computer.  So in the Candy I am writing about the program wheel is a mixture of washing programs, spin cycle, empty machine and some more.  Like the Tools menu of MSOffice pre 2007.

Here is another example where the product obviously isn’t tested or used before shipping. I set the program to 40° cotton. I get 1h34m runtime. I press start and it immediately jumps to 2h20m. (the figures are not exact)


The machine failed for me the other day, after a month’s use, with the clue “E07”.  Searching the manual came up with nothing but “call someone”.  To me this is a FAIL.  Calling “someone” I got a “I believe it is the controller card.”.  There are several other errors like E01 and E02 if I recall correctly.

It is hard to recommend a machine for several hundred euros that doesn’t give a clue about what is wrong.


I put in clothes and choose program.  It say 1:34.  I press play and it immediately switches to 2:02 or 2:22 depending on god-knows.  What happened to the 1:34?  What did the machine learn the moment I pressed play?

Then of course.  The machine is finished.  The water is pumped out.  The timer says 0.  I still have to wait over a minute before I can open the door.  And you know what? – in other machines there is a small door at the front where a string (or similar) is hidden to open the door anyway.
This machine has a pressure sensor.  So if the pressure sensor breaks down there is no obvious way to get your clothes out.  Or if the power goes.