Shop attendant Self- checkout machine CustomerGeneral observation : Saturday, 6.20PMEmpty line, very few customers, six self-checkout machines, one shop attendant standing nearbyfor unknown reasons (customer help? security?)
Process : Saturday, 6.20PM CREDIT Searching #2 - found a credit-Checking out only checkout- relieved to ﬁnd the - confusion inright machine why ‘credit-only’ Searching #1- quickly learned - found a cash-only checkoutthrough the process - confusion in why ‘cash-only’- nervous about takingphotos for references CASH Familiar w/ place - look for available checkouts Finished First encounter - a little surprised in how fast - a little nervous - mood back to normal - uneasiness due to the shop attendant’s position
Self-checkout steps:Saturday, 6.20PM, about 2 mins 1. Press START 2. Scan the items (fabric storage boxes) 3. Put the items in a bag 4. Choose a payment method (debit) 5. Make a payment (swipe a card, insert a code) 6. Receive the receipt 7. Pick the bag
What is an interface?The Free Dictionary in-ter-face (n.) 1. A surface forming a common boundary between adjacent regions, bodies, substances, or phases. 2. A point at which independent systems or diverse groups interact: “the interface between crime and politics where much of our reality is to be found” (Jack Kroll). 3. Computer Science a. The point of interaction or communication between a computer and any other entity, such as a printer or human operator. b. The layout of an application’s graphic or textual controls in conjunction with the way the application responds to user activity: an interface whose icons were hard to remember.Dictionary.com in-ter-face (n.) 1. A surface regarded as the common boundary of two bodies, spaces, or phases. 2. The facts, problems, considerations, theories, practices, etc., shared by two or more disciplines, procedures, or ﬁelds of study: the interface between chemistry and physics. 3. A common boundary or interconnection between systems, equipment, concepts, or human beings. 4. Communication or interaction: Interface between the parent company and its subsidiaries has never been better. 5. A thing or circumstance that enables separate and sometimes incompatible elements to coordinate effectively: The organization serves as an interface between the state government and the public.
What is an interface?Wikitionary in-ter-face (n.) 1. The point of interconnection between two entities: Public relations ﬁrms often serve as the interface between a company and the press. 2. (computing) The point of interconnection between two systems or subsystems: The data is sent over the air interface to the remote system. 3. (computing) The connection between a user and a machine: The options are selected via the user interface. 4. (computing) The connection between parts of object-oriented software: This interface is implemented by several Java classes. 5. (chemistry, physics) A thin layer or boundary between two different substances or two phrases of a single substance: The surface of a lake is a water-air interface. 6. (computing) In object-oriented programming, a piece of code deﬁning a set of operations that other code must implement.Related terms (Wikipedia: User interface)User interface - The space where interaction between humans and machines occurs - A system by which people (users) interact with a machine - Often used in the context of (personal) computer systems and electronic devicesHuman-machine interface - The user interface of a mechanical system, a vehicle or an industrial installation - The ‘layer’ that separates a human that is operating a machine from the machine itself
Encountered interfacesHuman-object Spatial interface: The space design of how the line should form, where to position self-checkout machines and how a customer navigates through.Human-machine Human-machine interfaces: The barcode reader, the card readerUser-program Natural user interface (NUI): The touch screens of the self-checkout machine and the card reader Graphical user interface (GUI): What appears on the touch screens of the self-checkout machine and the card reader Multi-screen interfaces: Menus on the GUIs of the touch screens of the self-checkout machine and the card reader Voice user interface: The female voice response from the self-checkout machine to guide the customer through the process of self-checkout via its touch screen “Are natural user interfaces natural? No. But they will be useful.” - Donald Norman, Natural User Interfaces Are Not NaturalAccording to his article, none of the above interfaces are natural. All has to be learned & developed.
Design intervention opportunitiesAn integration of a self-checking machine and a card reader It could take up less space and provide less confusion to many customers in switching between the machines.A more visually-pleasing ‘cash-only’ or ‘credit-only’ self-checking machine Instead of attaching a piece of paper with the word in handwriting, both cash-only and credit-only machines could have different colors from the rest, and been placed in separate positions that are easy to recognize as unique to others.Scan at spot Use a shopping cart, a basket, or maybe a smartphone to scan items right at the shelves, then make a payment at the exit. This reduces the space needed to put the self-checkout machines, and processing time.
People photographing Wandering mascots People eating People waiting in line Street performances Street vendorsPeople & babies on wheels People sitting People interacting w/ billboards
Solutions 1. Mobile app for locating people 2. People-locator interactive maps - around the area - input info and get a location-pointer braceletA) too crowded The area is too crowded, because its a tourist spot. Children/ people might get lost.
Solutions Side steps to separate moving people from sitting ones.B) red steps users People sitting here have to give a way to the ones going up and down, which is irritating for both parties.
Solutions Put the streets underground to make the whole area car-free.C) trafﬁc jam People crossing the streets slow down the traffic, and vice versa.
Potential improvements & User data neededA) too crowded Solutions 1. Mobile app for locating people The area is too crowded, 2. People-locator interactive maps because its a tourist - around the area spot. Children/people - input info and get a location-pointer bracelet might get lost. User data population density, mobile phone usage, past casesB) red steps users Solutions Side steps to separate moving people from sitting People sitting here have to ones. give a way to the ones going User data up and down, which is high/low usage time, activities on different spots irritating for both parties. on the steps, entrance to the steps, vision, other user activities nearbyC) trafﬁc jam Solutions Put the streets underground to make the whole area People crossing the streets car-free. slow down the traffic, and User data vice versa. population density, approximate loads, public response
Cycling + Listening to musicTo control a music player while riding a bicycle is reallyuncomfortable and dangerous, because the focus has beenshifted from the road to the music player (which, for example,could be an iPhone mounted to the handle.)Q: What if there is a way in which you can controla music player at will while still eyeing the road?
Reading + Time managementReading can be a great way to spend time or relax, but what if you don’t have enough time toread? For example, a college student might have multiple projects due tomorrow, and she alsohas to read ﬁve readings for a lecture class on the same day.Q: Maybe another good idea besides trying to adjust time for everything(and might not get enough sleep), could be using some sort of a device thatreads for you, then somehow inject them into your memory instantly?
Keyboard + Typing soundYou can use a pen or a laptop to take notes in a lecture class,but it is quite disturbing to other people nearby when youtype really fast and loud, while writing in a notebook makes nonoise at all.Q: Is there any way the keyboard would remainsilent while typing?
Utensils + Food packageTo separate utensils from food boxes might be a good solution to organize selling shelves, butthe problem starts after the purchase, once you have utensils in one hand and a food box inanother hand. One has to be very careful not to drop their spoons. On a table, you have tomake sure the utensils stay clean on top of the closed box without falling down.Q: Is there any way you can put a spoon on a food box (like in this photo) ina more stable way, not having to worry it might fall from the box if got hit?
Mobile + PhoneIs holding a mobile phone in one hand near an ear, or plugging a bluetooth device in an earthe ﬁnalized ways to use it? Does a mobile phone have to be the size about a human’s palm,made of toxic materials such as lead and plastic?Q: Can a mobile phone be designed in another form which you might nothave to pick it up anymore, but becomes a part of your body, so that youcan use it more intuitively, with less harm to the environment?
Subway + Boredom while ridingMost of the time, the outside world to subway train commuters is total darkness with dimspotlights along the way. Not only unable to ﬁnd a pleasant focus point for your eyes, you don’teven know where exactly you are. All you can do is waiting to reach the destination.Q: To kill the boredom, should subway train windows be able to change views,or have an interactive map telling the current location? What aboutearphones holes to plug in for music and news? Or even better, a wiﬁ spot?