An interaction that bugs me (Part 1)

There’s an interaction I perform at least once every couple of days. It annoys me how inconsistent the design and interactions are.

I’m talking about cash machines or ATMs.

I believe this is a global phoenomenon.

It’s incredible to think that in this day and age of such advanced technology and interaction procceses, the advancement of most cash machine interactions around the world, seem to have stood still.

One could assume a couple of factors have lead to the current state of affairs: • Each banks appears to have thier own individual approach and power
• There is not a global or even localised institution leading, testing and improving

As a result of this, users need to think and learn new interfaces. Thinking takes, and wastes time.

In Manila i havn’t found 2 bank machines that follow the same design patterns or flows. There are inconsistencies in flow, button layout and even terminology across different banks. Some banks even have differing interfaces between their own machines.

I like to think i’m very efficient at using cash machines, infact it annoys me when the people in front of me takes their time to withdraw money.

I have a mental note of approximately how much money i have in my account, so i dont need to do a balance inquiry before withdrawing. I have observed that lots of people don’t do the same, they need to check their balance before selecting how much to withdraw.

For starters, this begs the question, why on earth are these two interactions treated separetly? Why not display the available balance on the cash withdrawal screen as a visual reference?

It occured to me that maybe i’m strange, because i opt to use any machine that is available (regardless of charges incurred) rather than sticking to my own bank. I’m pretty sure i’m not the only one, but even if i was there is surely a much better way to design such a commonly used set of actions.

Do you experience this in the countries you live in?

Is there a way to standardise cash machine interactions?

Join the discussion on the friends of the intercation design foundation linkedin group

About Russell Morgan

Throughout his career in digital advertising, he has seamlessly transitioned into various disciplines ranging from web design, HTML integration, production, and even PPC management – making him a well-rounded practitioner. While doing the rounds of different digital disciplines, he saw the potential and importance of UX design and took it upon himself, with a partner, to set up a UX rooted digital development agency – where UX culture is instilled in every employee and process from start to finish. Russell, who originally hails from Scotland in the UK, is the Co-Founder, business development director and UX Lead of Foolproof Labs. He was previously the Experience director at Movent, a GroupM Company. He remains a strong advocate of design thinking, rapid prototyping and early stage user testing and validation, with no signs of stopping just yet. He is on a continuous search for all things UX – studying, developing and adapting new discoveries into his craft.

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