ATM user interface fail

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88 Responses to “ATM user interface fail”

  1. Purplecat says:

    Aaargh! Yes, self-scan checkouts are really badly designed.

    All the paranoia makes for really bad UI. I (and most other humans) can scan faster than their “Pick up one item. Scan Slowly. Carefully place in the output scale that’s there because we think all our customers are thieves” sequence. So the entire thing usually locks up.

    On the other hand, if you’re slower than it expects at doing anything but scanning, you get the patronising voice giving you loud instructions.

    And $Deity help you if you have more than one bag’s worth of stuff. Any attempt to rearrange bags gets the “Put it back! Unexpected item!- take it out ! PUT IT BACK!” run-around.

    More hassle than they’re worth. Plus , I remember spending far too many teenage weekends scanning other people’s stuff. If you still want me to do this, start paying me minimum wage again.

    Going vaguely back on topic with ATM’s, the main drawback of the new flashy all singing, all dancing touch-screen machines is that rather than running dedicated system control software, they’re on windows. Which means that they have a habit of running slowly, crashing, and all the other good things that come as standard with a mass-market OS.

  2. Anonymous says:

    They are just a bunch of programmers, they are not developer nor UI designer.

  3. Anonymous says:

    the issue is they assume we are all the same height. in order to line up the button with the response, i have to shorten or lengthen my stance. this is the breakdown. the first rule of UI is to not assume everyone is the same!

  4. relawson says:

    it varies by enclosure design, but i’ve seen this exact thing on my atm screens.

    i do, however, need to carry headphones with me more often to see what is actually being piped through it!

  5. Xenu says:

    Oh if you think ATMs are bad, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    Come to the bay area and try our new Clipper machines. It’s an RFID card for public transit. Nice idea, terrible implementation.

    The add value machines take forever to process transactions (some of them are on dial up, even though they were installed very recently.)

    But the real kicker is that before you insert cash, you have to select how much you’re going to insert. So for example if you want to add $20, you hit a button that says $20, and then insert your cash. If you don’t insert enough or insert too much, it kicks back your money and you have to start all over!

  6. Anonymous says:

    You are simply too tall.

  7. bardfinn says:

    This hypothesis assumes that Glenn Beck sleeps. Citation needed.

  8. Anonymous says:

    ATMs can be infuriating. I wrote a fairly thorough blog post about the irritations a year or two back:

    http://salmonday.tumblr.com/post/25972389/the-humble-cash-machine

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hate CHASE. Its ATMs continually bombarde me with advertisements on my way to the transaction. Worse, the advertised services are usually consumer-unfriendly, big-profit-for-banks ones that no one in their right mind should ever agree to. Like the overdraft “protection” rip-off the ATMs kept force-feeding me even though I’d already rejected online.

  10. Guysmiley says:

    The Wells Fargo ATMs I use are pretty damned impressive. Full color touch screen with an automated check scanner. You put in a check (or stack of checks) you want to deposit and it automatically loads, scans, OCRs the amounts and allows you to verify the scanned images.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Actually, if you have 10 identical items to scan at the self-checkout you *can* just scan one of them. Take one in one hand (your scanning hand). Each time you scan it, put one of the other ones into the bagging area with your other hand. No, it’s not quite as simple as moving all of them at once, but it means you don’t have to find the bar code every time.

  12. Michael Smith says:

    Speaking generally I don’t mind ATM UIs. They are pretty kludgy but they get the job done. Newer ATMs have to be accessible for people in wheel chairs. I am pretty tall so I operate the touch screen from a high elevation and that doesn’t work well.

    Years ago there was an ATM which used stiff cards for the receipt. It spat them out into a little hopper while displaying a request not to litter. Unfortunately the hopper didn’t work so the card got spat out on to the ground.

    Even before that the banks did batch processing at night so ATMs often couldn’t log on to query account details. When this happened they spooled up small transactions and reconciled them when they got a connection. Very handy if like me you had no money and wanted to fund a hitch hiking trio around Tasmania. 20 bucks a day was all I could get though.

    About ten years ago my wife and I were out for a walk at night. We came across an ATM which was beeping furiously. It had ejected a card but the owner had disappeared. I took the card and turned it in to the bank the next day. This seems to contradict the stories about ATMs retaining cards, though for me thats better than just spitting the card out after the owner has driven off.

  13. bardfinn says:

    UI Design flaw: Dallas area DART system kiosks. The labels on the buttons are confusing, making them essentially meaningless, so everyone fumbles through them until they find the right choice. Passengers who use them regularly enough memorise the button sequences, passengers who ride often enough just buy a monthly or yearly pass.

    Hardware design fail: Each one runs Windows, each one is on an IP network. The sole distinguishable reason for them to be on the IP network: to phone home to say they’re full of money or out of supplies. Cost of sticking a cellular phone radio in the machine to phone home via text message, rather than running and maintaining hundreds of miles of dedicated TCP-IP supporting network media to handle a few thousand bytes of data a week : priceless.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I found this braille behind glass on my local ATM:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/creamaster/2199126788/

  15. YarbroughFair says:

    This post is all about OBSERVATION.

    The transaction is completed, so the user obviously did not have a problem with the keys. The customer took a photo of the headphone jack.

    This is a drive thru; the photo was taken from a truck. Drive thru ATM,s are car height.

    I am a hearing and seeing person, I don’t need the jack.

    I am a blind person; I need brail, not the jack. But I’m blind, so I’m not driving. How would the jack help a blind person? Walk them through the steps?

    I am a deaf person, I don’t need the Jack.

    I am blind and deaf, I can’t drive and I can’t hear. I can’t use this ATM.

    Finally, who carries headphones just to interface with devices? “Honey, I’m going to the ATM, where are the headphones”?

    Some banks offer handsets to speak with a teller, not just headphones. Maybe this is a Banks terrible effort at one-way privacy.

    The only conclusion is this jack has nothing to do with customers. It’s for maintenance or servicing.

    • cservant says:

      You’ve forgotten to rule out: “the other ATMs aren’t working, I’ll direct you blind guy to the drive through one.”

      I’ve seen drive through ATMs being used by people who don’t want to wait in line for the walk up to one.

  16. penguinchris says:

    I generally find ATMs to be OK UI-wise. I agree that optimizations can be made, like those described on the Bank of America ATMs (which I’ve used). And I’ve run into the issue in the photo as well, although the angle of the photo is exaggerating it immensely.

    This same type of interface – screen that can change with physical buttons on the side – is used in jet fighters. The theory behind their use is quite good, I think. It’s just poor implementation to have the screen so far recessed that you can’t easily tell where the buttons line up.

    I think what would be useful is if banks let you customize the options presented to you at the ATM. If you always do the same types of transactions with the same options, you should be able to do it with a single button press, and you should be able to hide things you rarely or never do.

    This includes the BOA-style “Fast Cash” options – you should be able to change the amounts presented. Most ATMs offer a selection of preset amounts to withdraw once you get to that point, but they’re *never* the amount I want. The only exception was once in Thailand – I went to the HSBC ATM at the Thai HSBC headquarters (as far as I can tell this is the only location in the country with HSBC ATMs) and the unusual amount I needed was one of the options – but it isn’t an option on any of the other ATMs from Thai banks that I normally use. Same story in the US but I only use HSBC ATMs which all have the same presets (I use them infrequently enough that even in Southern California, where they’re rare, it’s not a big deal).

    The downside would be when you do need to do something different – but it should only take one button press to bring you to the default set of complete options.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The ATM at my bank won’t let me take the cash until I have taken my card.

  18. candycritic says:

    I’d just like to point out as a 6 foot 2 person this is pretty much how every single ATM screen looks like to me.

  19. surreality says:

    I get the “too tall” issue, but I don’t think that’s the only reason. I’m 5’5″ and I’ve encountered ones that don’t line up…

  20. noah says:

    There’s a simple reason why the screen and controls are so low, creating the parallax that makes it impossible to see which button corresponds to ‘yes’ and which to ‘no’. The ATM is positioned such that users in wheelchairs can reach it.

  21. Gilbert Wham says:

    When I was very young, one of the ATMs on our high-st. was entirely electro-mechanical; not even a CRT display. The instructions were printed on a black rubber sheet moved up & down by rollers. I loved it. I still dream of taking it to pieces to see how it worked…

    • millrick says:

      thanks :)

    • 2k says:

      ..in case anybody else missed it, neilwalker (ftw) pointed to the wikipedia article with:
      “A user plugs a standard headset into the jack, and can hear instructions such as “press 1 for withdrawal”, “press 2 for…”

      ‘Audible Orientation’ is the name of my new band.

  22. Halloween Jack says:

    waking up and remembering that you are Glenn Beck.

    At least I’m not the only one who’s had that nightmare.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I really don’t like being “That Guy” who has to ruin a joke and otherwise get all up tight and humorless over stuff, but I have to say: Because the screen is inset behind the bezel around it, all you need to do to create this illusion is raise your camera a bit. If you were looking at the screen straight on, the arrows would likely line up with the keys just fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, but the camera in this case is seeing what most of us see when we’re standing there. The problem isn’t that the photographer is holding the camera in the wrong spot, the problem is that the interface only looks right if you’re at just the right height. If you’re too tall or too short you’re going to have trouble. I’m 6’3″ and I have to hunch over to nmake sure I’m hitting the right button. Put a button on the left side and one on the right and the problems’s fixed.

    • michiexile says:

      So the fact that I can almost never tell without acrobatics what button aligns with what option is an indication of me being too freakishly tall to use ATMs and not an indication of bad UI design?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m pretty familiar with these particular machines, they are all over the tulsa area, and this is a pretty confusing design, I’ve had the problem myself, they frankly suck, not just a camera trick.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can personally confirm they don’t. This is a screenshot of the interface of the “CashPoints” North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union’s ATM system. None of the UI elements line up on any of their ATMs. Ever.
      You have to count down from the side if you aren’t sure.
      If you are ever in NC just look for a CashPoints ATM and try it for yourself!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I use an ATM near my home that terminates the transaction by saying “Press Enter to Exit”. Cognitive dissonance much?

  25. brianary says:

    Ah, parallax.

  26. Anonymous says:

    …or waking up and remembering that you are Glenn Beck.

    Jeezus, Rob, that was gratuitous. Are you trying to give me nightmares?

  27. 3lbFlax says:

    Well, this is no problem. If you want No, just press the bottom button and then the one above it if that doesn’t work, and if you want Yes, start from the top. TCH! This country.

  28. InsertFingerHere says:

    I’m bothered by the raised line in the frame pointing to a button. I have to crouch down to see what text is lined up with what button. All these years and they still haven’t figured it out. Simply paint the line a bright white, my eye can follow it easy.

    And with all the skimming shit out there, I always tug hard on card mouth parts, just to make sure they are real. One time, I broke the card-reader slot.. it just came off. I went in to the bank, said I think this is skimming stuff, and they had the NERVE to ream me out for breaking their machine.

    Without a uniform look, how do I know? Horrible things.. just horrible.

    And my Safeway just got self-checkout… Mixed feelings about that too.. 1 person running 4 tills, putting people out of work, yet in some cases, it’s faster for me. I feel guilty using those.

    • Chesterfield says:

      1 person running 4 tills, putting people out of work, yet in some cases, it’s faster for me. I feel guilty using those.

      InsertFingerHere, next time you are at Safeway, you should break some of their windows. You will help employ a window repairman, a worker in a window factory, the people who make the trucks that ship the windows, etc…

    • Mitch says:

      I like the self service checkouts. I get to control the efficiency of the checkout process, not the cashier, and I don’t have to be asked how I’m doing by someone who isn’t actually interested in how I’m doing and feel obliged to ask how he’s doing in return. I haven’t seen a store with self service checkouts that didn’t also have human cashiers.

      I think ATM user interfaces are pretty intuitive. I’ve never had to stop and figure out how to use one.

      The ones that take the card away are annoying. Banks around here are phasing those out. They probably got tired of reissuing cards to people who forget to wait for it to come back out again at the end of the transaction.

  29. Benito says:

    There’s something I’ve encountered frequently at gas stations, where the “YES” text is above a red button and the “NO” text is above a green button. I always have to stop and figure out what the hell is going on.

  30. cholten99 says:

    I worked on ATMs for a year (15 years ago). They suffer massively from the banks (who’s representatives have no idea about IT, never mind UIs) micromanaging the projects into oblivion.

  31. Prufrock451 says:

    Look at the economics of it. Switching bank accounts is annoying as hell, especially in today’s world of direct deposit. So most people can’t be persuaded to do it, even when smaller deposit-hungry banks offer 5% interest on checking accounts.

    Why would someone spend millions designing and then rolling out iPhone-level-sexy ATMs? It’s related to the boggling “Why is there Braille on drive-up ATM” question – there’s just no percentage in making a better mousetrap.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2009/06/why-do-drive-up-atm-machines-h.html

  32. shadowfirebird says:

    In regard to self-scan checkouts, I’ve given up using them.

    1) approach checkout with two small items in your hands.

    2) Scan first item.

    3) Checkout refuses to continue until you put first item down. This is apparently a security device. WTF? I’ve *already paid for this*, why do you care where I put it?

    4) Give up and go to a human-operated checkout.

    In Sainsburys (UK) the checkout asks you if you want a bag, you say no, and then it refuses to continue unless you place item one in *the bag you said you didn’t want*.

    ::headdesk::

    • RedShirt77 says:

      ShadowFb the Bag area is the demagnetizer that allows you to deaden the security device so you can walk out the door without setting off the alarm. I am sure the computer asks you to place items in the bag area as a default even if you are not buying items with security measures.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Self-checkout isn’t always faster and as soon as you have any problem the process quickly becomes an ordeal, after all, they got rid of most of the people who can help you and replaced them with self checkouts. And that “place the item down” crap is a pain in the ass. They usually don’t provide a big enough shelf for my items while I’m scanning them so I end up having to bend over for each item off the floor.

      If I see a self-checkout at this point if it is for more than a couple of items I look for a person or I take my business elsewhere from then on.

    • CastanhasDoPara says:

      point #3, it is a security feature. The bagging area is also a scale that determines that what you scanned is indeed what you physically have. That doesn’t mean that you HAVE to take the bag after you complete the transaction.

      Interestingly enough, this lends itself to certain barcode swap hacks. You just have to find items that weigh exactly the same and have an appropriate price difference and of course the ability to make your own UPC codes to swap out. Fairly trivial but time consuming.

      • shadowfirebird says:

        That’s an interesting idea, and at least brings the thing out of the realm of incompetence and into the realm of paranoid store owners. I still object, though:

        I doubt that the human staff check for this on the regular tills.

        I doubt that the losses the store would incur if this was not implemented come anywhere near the level of inconvenience it gives to the regular customers. (On a regular till, for instance, if I have ten identical bottles of soda, the checkout staff can swipe the same bottle ten times. I can’t, and the system tells me off for trying.)

        • CastanhasDoPara says:

          That’s an interesting idea, and at least brings the thing out of the realm of incompetence and into the realm of paranoid store owners. I still object, though:

          I doubt that the human staff check for this on the regular tills.

          I doubt that the losses the store would incur if this was not implemented come anywhere near the level of inconvenience it gives to the regular customers. (On a regular till, for instance, if I have ten identical bottles of soda, the checkout staff can swipe the same bottle ten times. I can’t, and the system tells me off for trying.)

          First: paranoid store owners == huge corporations able to afford such systems = true. While also “saving a few bucks an hour on staff”. If you have such a problem with self-check-out, don’t use it. Simple enough. Better yet, avoid huge corporation X’s systems altogether, support unions, and your local economy. You should see the benefits almost immediately.

          Second: Ever notice that little screen that displays your purchased items/generates your receipt? That is exactly what human operators are supposed to do. Theoretically, even minimum wage high-school dropouts should notice that the 12-pack of Sam’s Choice cola is not a 12-pack of Budweiser. OR vice-versa. Also, at places that are able to afford the self-check-outs I have never seen a human checker repeatedly scan an item for multiple quantities. This is typically against policy, as the checker may be prone to incorrectly scan the item 9 or 11 times. Hence they are also required to scan every item in singular fashion. Add in the presence of security tags this becomes even more necessary as the scan table is usually the desensitizing system too.

          Third: you seem to not have explored the intricacies of self-check-out fully. I, personally, have noticed on most systems that there is a quantity-X button. Since the weight/quantity is a known value.

          So in conclusion, please refrain from use of the self-check-out as you might hurt yourself. And possibly others around you.

          Also this is why systems programmers, try at all costs, if they are paid enough, to make it impossible for the (L)user to do anything remotely outside of the box. Which can be a bit frustrating for those of us that are intelligent enough to operate said system. But the lowest common denominator is what systems are designed for. Be that people in a wheelchair, in the case of seemingly misaligned pointers on a ATM screen, or the seemingly overly paranoid self-check-out systems at the supermarket. Again, if you don’t like it; don’t use it.

        • dragonfrog says:

          And, if one of the ten identical items has a scuffed up barcode that doesn’t read, then your attempts to correct the count will undoubtedly set the scale to the wrong reading at some point during the process, and flag you as a shoplifter.

          That happened to me once – a single item out of my purchase (maybe $4 out of a $30 or $40 total) didn’t scan, I didn’t notice, and I was quickly approached by the watchful clerk, who went through the receipt and items in the bag to find the discrepancy. I don’t know if it was just my embarassment, but I felt like I was picking up definite implications I was a shoplifter.

          • SamSam says:

            Well, to be fair, if the balance hadn’t notified the store about the discrepancy, you would have been a shoplifter, albiet unintentionally. So it looks like the balance exactly fulfilled it’s purpose.

          • dragonfrog says:

            Of course, now I know that if I ever want to shoplift, I just have to put the items I don’t mean to pay for in my shopping bag before I start scanning. Then with each item scanned, the weight goes up by the right amount, and the scale just thinks I’m using a heavy shopping bag.

            That ought to work too – at least some of those systems let you put whatever bag you will be packing your groceries into directly on the scale, and don’t freak out if it has some heft to it – including packing straight into a backpack that already has a fair bit of stuff in it.

            A UI that let me scan one item, then press a button to tell it I was buying 5 of the same item, would have saved me the trouble.

          • Fett101 says:

            That’s not gonna work often. There’s a certain weight threshold in the self checkout between “customer using their own bags” and “customer’s put something on scale without scanning”.

  33. 2k says:

    right, so… the phones jack???

  34. Suburbancowboy says:

    Make the enter button green! I hate it when gas pumps have a grey enter button. I’m out in the cold pumping my gas, make it green, so I can find it quickly. Green=Go.

    The interface on the ATM should have numbers on the screen and on the hard buttons.
    1.Yes
    2.No
    (or 2 and 3, who the hell can tell here?)

    Then on the hard buttons, number them 1-4.

    And no ATM should ever take your card away from you. I am so used to my bank’s ATMs that only require you to dip the card, that when I was on vacation, in a city that did not have any branches of my bank, I forgot my card in the machine (drunk) and had no way of getting any cash for the rest of my trip.

    • promenad says:

      So, um, put the first item down for a second?

      • shadowfirebird says:

        I think that was in fact aimed at me.

        Why should I put the first item down? If the screen said “stand on one leg” would you do it?

        I can’t think of a single rational reason why the system should ask me to place each purchase on a platform after I have scanned it – other than dictatorial pointless meanness, or incompetent programming. I’ll suffer neither, given the option.

    • Skep says:

      “And no ATM should ever take your card away from you. I am so used to my bank’s ATMs that only require you to dip the card, that when I was on vacation, in a city that did not have any branches of my bank, I forgot my card in the machine (drunk) and had no way of getting any cash for the rest of my trip.”

      Holding your card is for security purposes required by federal regulations. Swipe ATMS can only do one transaction. You have to re-swipe to do more. Motorized ATMs, the kind that hold your card, are allowed to do multiple transactions. And the ATM will swallow your card if you don’t remember to take it, also for security purposes.

      If swipe ATMs were allowed to do more than one transactions, people such as yourself would be even more prone to walking away from ATMs leaving them with your credentials logged in, allowing the next person to drain your account.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually the machines in Quiktrip’s in Tulsa are swipers, and they do not require reswiping your card, they do however require entering your PIN number again before they will process the transaction….

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s what the effing PIN is for.

      • kmoser says:

        Holding your card is for security purposes required by federal regulations. Swipe ATMS can only do one transaction. You have to re-swipe to do more. Motorized ATMs, the kind that hold your card, are allowed to do multiple transactions. And the ATM will swallow your card if you don’t remember to take it, also for security purposes.

        If swipe ATMs were allowed to do more than one transactions, people such as yourself would be even more prone to walking away from ATMs leaving them with your credentials logged in, allowing the next person to drain your account.

        Where did you hear this? Citibank ATMs don’t take your card, and don’t require you to dip to do a second transaction. You just have to enter your PIN again. Of course, if you want a third transaction you may have to dip your card again. Or something like that; I really don’t remember the cutoff number.

        • Skep says:

          “Where did you hear this? Citibank ATMs don’t take your card, and don’t require you to dip to do a second transaction. You just have to enter your PIN again. Of course, if you want a third transaction you may have to dip your card again. Or something like that; I really don’t remember the cutoff number.”

          Those were the standards I was told when I worked in a related industry. But, I wasn’t on the legal or programing side of the equation so I don’t claim to have a perfect knowledge of the regulations. The non-motorized ATMs I was involved with required multiple swipes. The option of just re-entering a PIN may be a new regulation, interpretation, or I may just have been misinformed. Whatever the case, the fact is that non-motorized ATMs are less convenient for multiple transactions since each transaction has to be separately authorized.

  35. sando_art says:

    This has bugged me to no end!! Like mentioned, it’s on gas station pumps too. What I don’t understand is that there is almost always another set of identical buttons on the opposite side!! Why not put yes on one side, no on the other????

  36. millrick says:

    may i ask a possibly stupid question?

    is that a headphone jack to the right?

    • Prufrock451 says:

      That is for an OCP data spike. Not available in non-OCP-managed municipalities.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was wondering the same thing. I’ve never seen a headphone jack on an ATM, is that for blind people or something? Or is that for muzak soothing your transaction?

    • Anonymous says:

      I assume that jack is for the disabled. Maybe it has some sort of text to speech feed for the blind they can plug into?

  37. Anonymous says:

    I remember way back in the 70s that ATMs used to have a completely different design. They had a matrix of buttons, grouped into columns and denoted by colors. You started at the left by choosing a button telling it what transaction you wanted, then moved to the right choosing an account, an amount, etc. – all linear, left to right across the panel. The display was hidden by a cowl, like Mr. Spock’s science station.
    Of course, this made the machine less flexible as it relied on unchanging, silk-screened buttons instead of a variable interface. But they looked so much nicer, I think.

  38. Anonymous says:

    On the self-scan machines at the grocery store, the easiest hack is to not scan the item. Enter the screen that lets you weigh produce, then type in the PLU for something cheap, like potatoes or bananas. It will weigh the item on the scanner, then when you put it in the bag it will weigh it again. As long as those weights match, you are OK. You end up paying 39 cents a pound for anything you choose, from avocados to dvds.

    I haven’t tried this, and of course it wouldn’t work if there was a nosy person standing in line behind you. But it’s obvious for all their paranoia about matching the weight, these system designers have left a hole you could ride a mastodon through. Even if they put barcodes on all the produce (a major labor cost), you could still scan a banana, then weigh a dvd player, and end up paying for the dvd player’s weight in bananas.

  39. JayConverse says:

    This must be an older model. The ATMs in my neighborhood also have braille.

  40. Underpants Gnome says:

    All that’s missing is a “Pat Buchanan” button between the two!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Not ALL automated teller UIs are horrible. I happen to think that the interface Pentagram designed for Wells Fargo is phenomenal. It adapts to your usage patterns, is clear and concise, it does smart things like give you your card before your cash so you never leave it in the machine like I did that one time I was on vacation in central America.

    Truly, the Wells Fargo ATM interface is currently my #1 favorite thing about my bank.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget that it’s not a Wells Fargo ATM. It will either say NCR OR Diebold on it. Most Likely Diebold, They designed the software you like so much.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Don’t forget that it’s not a Wells Fargo ATM. It will either say NCR OR Diebold on it.” Not entirely true in my understanding (not infallible).

        NCR & Diebold make the machines, but the interface is WF proprietary and was designed by Pentagram – a top-notch UI and graphic design firm. All of WF’s machines, regardless of hardware origin, have the functionality that I have come to really appreciate.

  42. 3lbFlax says:

    The headphone socket will, of course, provide audio instructions for anyone who needs them. I’ve never used one but I’m guessing it will speak out things like balance and confirmation of your withdrawal that you might not want everyone in the area to hear.

  43. capl says:

    The ‘translations’ of the interface are also notoriously bad. The PNC Bank interface spelled Deutsch “Deutch” for years, as well as had numerous fun mistakes in the translations.

  44. Tonky says:

    Rob,

    Agreed, although Chase’s ATMs are pretty nifty.

    In grad school I learned about an ATM case study that showed how two IDENTICAL ATMs (nuts,bolts, processor, dispenser) with DIFFERENT UI (ergo design, menu, buttons, etc) functioned much differently.

    Users took longer operating the uglier and less graceful ATM even though it’s the same machine inside

    The Lesson: Good UI design lets consumers TRUST the device more and so they are more likely to ASSUME it works well and so transactions go faster.

    -Tonky

  45. thecheat says:

    Wow, all the smarties on here and I need to chime in late with the answer?

    The reason you have to put your items down is because the bagging area is a SCALE. All of the UPC codes are tied to the item’s weight. If it knows that you just scanned a candy bar, it should be, say, an ounce or two… if you put a 16 ounce steak in your bag instead, the machine flips out and needs to be unjammed by the worker standing nearby.

    This sucks for small lightweight and large cumbersome objects because you have nowhere to easily put your broom or maybe it didn’t notice that you DID put that pack of thumb tacks in the bagging area.

    • shadowfirebird says:

      The other reason why this is a pathetically pointless security measure, of course, is that there is no reason on earth why I would surreptitiously put the barcode on a candy bar onto to a steak, because I can just fail to swipe the steak.

      Presumably the same security measures that stop me from pocketing the steak in the first place would stop me swapping the barcodes on it.

      • thecheat says:

        sure… hell, you don’t even have to bother with the checkout – just load up with stuff and walk out the door. then you avoid the whole “I hate the self-checkout” argument AND spur the economy because you’re giving loss-prevention and the local PD something to do :D

  46. SamSam says:

    Some ATMs are slowly getting better. Bank Of America, which I don’t use because they are Teh Evil, but I do use their ATMs, are among those that have gotten much better.

    First miraculous, wonderful improvement:

    Enter your PIN. Below your pin there are THREE buttons: Ok (or whatever it’s called), “Fast cash $40″ and “Fast cash $60.” Yay! They worked out that they can process your PIN *and* do the most commonly selected transaction in *one step*!

    Compare this to the design of many other god-awful UI trees:

    Enter your PIN. Hit enter. Select “English” or “Spanish.” Select “withdraw cash.” Select “$60.” Select “From checking.” Select “no receipt.” Confirm.

    Wow.

    The ability to insert checks without an envelope and have it scan it and show it in your receipt is another nice feature that I wish my bank had.

  47. arikol says:

    I think waking up and remembering that you are Glenn Beck is probably awesome. I mean, the man probably lives in a haze of smug self satisfaction and self righteousness.

    Being a douchhebag is probably awesome.

  48. EggyToast says:

    Say what you will about Bank of America, but they certainly put time and effort into their ATMs. Almost all of their ATMs are now using full-color touchscreens, and I’ve noticed that they regularly update the user interface software. When you’re finished the machine used to ask “Would you like another transaction? Yes/no.” Then, it said “Your transaction is complete. Would you like another transaction? Return Card/Another Transaction.” Which helps people remember hey, my card is in there.

    They just updated it again, so now it says “Take Card” instead of “Return,” which makes even more sense — I want to take it, I don’t want it returned — so it’s a much more active voice.

    Their interface in general has become more active and straightforward, and their ATMs don’t require envelopes for making deposits, etc. It’s actually better than a real teller, finally.

  49. Anonymous says:

    To Shadowfirebird: The platform has a scale in it, and wants to be sure that the item you have scanned matches the recorded weight. Otherwise, it would be very easy to put bar codes from different items onto more expensive ones, then get a convincing looking receipt indicting that you had in fact paid for the number of items that you were walking out of the store with. That said, the UI is almost universally flawed on these things, and I generally find them to be far more hassle than they’re worth. The worst is when you get midway through a transaction, and the machine says it won’t go on without employee assistance– and there’s no one to be found.

    Self checkout < Gas pumps < ATMs. But all 3 could use a serious overhaul.

  50. thecheat says:

    I’m really liking the new Wachovia/Wells Fargo ATMs… I almost never take cash but it’s nice to be able to deposit checks and cash with no envelope and the machine doing all of the work and letting me double check it in the end.

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