ATM Usability Discovery

Posted by on Mar 30, 2011 in Usability | No Comments

Ever reach into your wallet or purse for your debit card only to be stricken by absolute horror when you discover your card’s no longer there? Well that happened to me recently. Yes, me. Mr. squared-away, high-speed, anal-retentive, dummy-cording me. So how’d this happen? In three words or less: Poor Usability Design. It actually was a combination of poor usability design, daddy brain and all the ravages that come with old age.


I left my damned debit card in the ATM machine at my credit union after withdrawing some cash. So why is this bad usability design and not my fault?


I didn’t really think about how or why this happend. I simply wrote it off as stupidity on my part. Until today. By pure coincidence—or lack of communication between my wife and I—this afternoon I ended up visiting two separate ATMs consecutively. The first belonging to our credit union and the second was from our large, nationwide bank branch. Here is where I had my “A Hah!” moment. After using the ATM from the large bank, I realized that my credit union’s ATM lacked in the usability design department.


Usability design touches our lives constantly everyday. From the moment we wake to the moment we sleep, we interact with objects that were considered by usability experts. Turn off your alarm clock. Brush your teeth. Check your smart phone. Make coffee. Watch the news. Drive to work. And that’s just your early morning. Most of us don’t even think about usability because the best designs are so intuitive that they’re practically invisible.

And then buy amoxil online you occasionally stumble onto some shit like I did and realize, “why the heck don’t they do it this way everywhere?” Which brings us back to my story….


I discovered that the ATM at my credit union disperses cash BEFORE your card while the large bank branch’s ATM disperses cash AFTER your card. Now this may seem trivial at first, but it is HUGE! Imagine how much money this credit union loses in a fiscal year because of debit cards being left in their ATM machines by idiots like myself. The large bank chain solved this problem by ejecting your card before getting what you came there for. It’s harder to forget your card this way and undoubtedly saves this bank some major coin. A simple difference in the usability process and waste is eliminated. Genius.

XKLAIM ★ Creative Division

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