Bad User Interface: Tanita “The Ultimate Scale”

I bought this scale that also calculates your body fat percentage several years ago for $20. I find the user interface counter-intuitive and difficult to discover the correct sequence of buttons to make the thing work.

First, I tried pressing the large button that most older digital scales have to turn the thing on. This actually triggers “weight without body fat percentage” mode.

Now when I go to try to set the device to know my age/sex/height, it only tries to weigh my finger pressure, even though there is no realistic way I would try to stand on one of the buttons while weighing myself.

To make it work properly, I have to completely turn off the device by waiting for it to turn off itself (or removing/reinserting the battery). Then, I need to initiate a series of settings with the orange “Set” button.

First comes adult/child, which is selected with the blue button, then confirmed with the orange button.

Then I have to choose male/female assuming that the female wears a skirt.

Finally, I enter my height by holding down the blue button from 3’4″ in half inch increments until I reach my height. If I go over, I must completely restart the process. I think the designers knew that this was a bad user interface, as at the same time in the same store, they also sold a $50 model and an $80 model that each looked identical but for the addition of new buttons and a “save” feature for 2 people on the $50 model and 4 people on the $80 model.

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    • Richard
    • February 23rd, 2012

    An ultimate scale would and should have a set lock feature. Because of this manufacturing short sight, I am reluctant to ever purchase and recommend Tanita products. Pertaining with this product, how does a simple minded person manage this unit? Answer: Not using it.

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