Annoying beeping products

This post isn't related to web usability but it is related to usability in general. We have a microwave and a washing machine that can be very annoying. With each product, once ourfood is cooked or defrosted and once our washing is clean, the product makes a loud beeeeep noise. The noise from both machines are quite annoying and we cringe every time we hear them. We've tried disabling the noises but have found there is no way of doing it without unplugging the wire to the speaker which would involve opening the case and voiding our warranty.

Road runner from Warner BrosNot only do these products make an annoying beeeeeep sound but they will continue to do it every couple of minutes until we either open the microwave door or turn off the washing machine. This makes us even more angry because if for example we're reading something important in another room of the house and our washing machine is beeeeeeeping at us every couple of minutes, we're thinking we heard you the first time, shut the hell up. But no, the machines just keep on beeeeeeeeeeeeping until we get up, walk over to the other end of the apartment and turn them off interrupting what we are doing.

We've sometimes even heard the next door neighbours washing machine beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeping every couple of minutes. We've realised that the neighbour is out and the noise just keeps repeating until they come home. This is even more annoying as we have no control over the sound and cannot turn it off without breaking into our neighbours apartment.

There is a simple rule when creating a product, make sure it is courteous.

Let's pretend our washing is a person instead of a machine. The first thing the person would do would be to tell us the washing was done, it wouldn't make a stupid beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeping sound, the person would politely tell us our washing is clean. The person would then not repeatedly tell us the washing is done every couple of minutes as this is very rude. They would tell us once and then let us decide when to remove the clothes from the washine.

It's as simple as that. Pretend the machine that you are using is a courteous person who is not rude and does not bother you constantly. Once you think about a product this way, you will think about better ways to create them. The only thing that should beep every couple of minutes is the road runner.