Critique Requested: Cooper Interaction DesignerTest

4 Apr 2006 - 5:15pm
8 years ago
12 replies
601 reads
Vijay Venkatraman
2006

Hi Tony & Robert,

Thank you so much for your comments. I have certainly been very primitive in
my imagination and this is a good wake-up call for me.

Having identified infinite design blunders, I am now ashamed of my solution.
What was I thinking when I sent this solution to Cooper expecting to do
well? Nevertheless, this is a good thing that happened to me. I have learnt
a lot from taking this test and getting it critiqued. It's given me a very
good idea of the real quality of my IxD skills. Clearly, a lot of work is
needed.

Finally, I'd like to send out one final request for more critiques.

Thank you so much for your time,

Vijay

Comments

7 Apr 2006 - 2:56am
Tony Smith
2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nathan Kendrick [mailto:natekendrick at yahoo.com]
> Sent: Thursday, 6 April 2006 2:49 AM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Critique Requested: Cooper
> Interaction DesignerTest
>
>
>
> On Apr 4, 2006, at 1:59 AM, Tony Smith wrote:
> >
> > Think about it, you have a 25% chance of getting the card into the
> > slot
> > correctly. Rather poor odds!
>
> 25%? Okay, I'll bite. The best math I could figure out is 50%. I get
> your point tho.
>
> > So why not re-design the reader? Current readers have a single
> > head to
> > read the stripe on the card. Why not make the reader have
> 4 heads,
> > one in
> > each corner? No matter how you put the card in, it'll
> work. Now you
> > don't need an error message saying you put the card in wrong. One
> > problem
> > solved.
>
> Sure, but we all design within constraints. Sure the test is
> meant to
> illicit creative thinking - but the most creative and elegant
> solutions are in spite of constraints. In the best of cases,
> constraints inspire solutions.
>
> The next logical step for the designer to ask is "How much would it
> cost to make a four head card reader?" The feasibility is always as
> important as the "creative idea" and shows that a designer is a
> designer, and not just a creative person that can non-sequitur from
> idea to idea.
>
> --
>
> How about a card reader where the card doesn't need to be
> inserted at
> all? Use the same magnetic reader mechanism, but have it
> exposed flat
> on the ATM.
>
> A user could just lay the card, stripe down on the reader. The
> indentation of where to lay the card would show how the card should
> be oriented and that it should be done card face up.
>
> -Nathan

A 4 head reader wouldn't be that more expensive than the current ones,
relatively speaking. Nobody will ever build one, of course, why would
they? I'm doomed to spend 5 seconds every time at the ATM trying to
figure out which way the card goes. I even get the supermarket ones
wrong, and that’s a 50/50 chance.

I've seen readers where you lay the card flat, it still doesn't solve the
orientation problem (card upside down, back to front). It also adds new
problems, how does the reader detect the card, but a bigger problem is
it's easier for people to forget their card (ok, these are minor). ATMs
were changed years ago to force people to take their card before
dispensing money.

The machine should make my life easier, not vice-versa. If the machine
makes my life harder, then it's wrong, not me. Try putting a 3.5" floppy
disk in the wrong way, that got done right. I want to shove my card in
the general direction of the machine, and get on with my life. A bit like
where store clerks pretend to match the signature on the receipt with that
on your card. They don't care which way up the card is :)

Door keys are the same. Bike & cars keys can be used "upside down", why
not for doors? When I move house, I change all the locks to this style of
key, and make it so one key opens every lock, even if the door has two
locks. (I have considered magstripe, using my credit card or similar.)

As others have said, RFID cards are the future, and these problems go
away. Reading your card from your back pocket would be nice. A plus is
it's harder for the ATM to steal your card late at night on Xmas eve...
Still bitter...

Magstripe will be around forever (cheap), even punch cards have sorta
survived (take a look at your airline boarding pass). In Sydney
Australia, train & bus tickets are magstripe. I amuse myself (and startle
others) by using my train ticket to open the doors at banks where the ATMs
are in the lobby. What, you think it actually checks the card?

Tony

7 Apr 2006 - 7:23am
Todd Roberts
2005

Biometrics are the future. Why should I have to carry 10 different cards
and 3 different keys that do nothing except identify the holder as me? I'd
rather just walk around with my fingerprint attached to my hand. Then you
get away from the problem of passwords/PINs as well, except in the most
secure applications where multifactor would be necessary.

As others have said, RFID cards are the future, and these problems go
> away. Reading your card from your back pocket would be nice. A plus is
> it's harder for the ATM to steal your card late at night on Xmas eve...
> Still bitter...

7 Apr 2006 - 9:57am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> The machine should make my life easier, not vice-versa. If the machine
> makes my life harder, then it's wrong, not me.

Does an ATM really make your "life harder"? Yes, it's dancing bearware, but
it's really not *that* bad. :)

Try putting a 3.5" floppy
> disk in the wrong way, that got done right. I want to shove my card in
> the general direction of the machine, and get on with my life. A bit like
> where store clerks pretend to match the signature on the receipt with that
> on your card. They don't care which way up the card is :)

That's why I suggested redesigng both the card and the reader so there's
only one way to put it in. I never had a problem with floopy disks. (You
know, except for the fact that they had such limited storage space.) You
could just glance at it and know which way it went in. If ATMs were so
universally designed, millions of people would be incrementally less annoyed
at least once a week. Now that's progress!

-r-

7 Apr 2006 - 10:00am
Dave Malouf
2005

Why is it that the rest of the world can use smart chips but we cant' in
the US?
I know they don't use their smart chips for ATMs (though I don't
understand why), but a swipe and pin is so much easier than a magnetic
strip. Can't we please move in this direction, please?

Robert Hoekman, Jr. wrote:
> That's why I suggested redesigng both the card and the reader so there's
> only one way to put it in. I never had a problem with floopy disks. (You
> know, except for the fact that they had such limited storage space.) You
> could just glance at it and know which way it went in. If ATMs were so
> universally designed, millions of people would be incrementally less annoyed
> at least once a week. Now that's progress!

7 Apr 2006 - 10:00am
Taneem Talukdar
2005

>I'd
>rather just walk around with my fingerprint attached to my hand.

The reason why you don't want biometric id is because:

> it's harder for the ATM to steal your card late at night on Xmas eve...
> Still bitter...

I'd rather have someone mug me and take my rfid card than chop my finger
off...

This isn't outlandish either, I remember reading a new report of something
just like this happening to a biometric enabled car owner... as biometrics
get more prevalent, this kind of thing will become more common.

Taneem Talukdar

On 4/7/06, Todd Roberts <trrobert at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Biometrics are the future. Why should I have to carry 10 different cards
> and 3 different keys that do nothing except identify the holder as me? I'd
> rather just walk around with my fingerprint attached to my hand. Then you
> get away from the problem of passwords/PINs as well, except in the most
> secure applications where multifactor would be necessary.
>
> As others have said, RFID cards are the future, and these problems go
> > away. Reading your card from your back pocket would be nice. A plus is
> > it's harder for the ATM to steal your card late at night on Xmas eve...
> > Still bitter...
> ________________________________________________________________
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7 Apr 2006 - 10:13am
Todd Roberts
2005

Security & safety issues can always be addressed by better design. Blame
Mercedes for creating a system that can be hacked (no pun intended) by
chopping off someone's finger.

> I'd rather have someone mug me and take my rfid card than chop my finger
> off...
>
> This isn't outlandish either, I remember reading a new report of something
> just like this happening to a biometric enabled car owner... as biometrics
> get more prevalent, this kind of thing will become more common.
>
> Taneem Talukdar
>
>

7 Apr 2006 - 10:48am
Jay Zipursky
2005

A redesign would be very expensive given the huge install base.
Sometimes a simple solution is better and cheaper.

So, how about a simple arrow drawn on the card? Quick, everyone!
Retrofit your cards today. (I think all ATMs take the card in the
same orientation... If I'm wrong, this won't work.)

Jay

On 4/7/06, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <mmbeta at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> > The machine should make my life easier, not vice-versa. If the machine
> > makes my life harder, then it's wrong, not me.
>
>
> Does an ATM really make your "life harder"? Yes, it's dancing bearware, but
> it's really not *that* bad. :)
>
> Try putting a 3.5" floppy
> > disk in the wrong way, that got done right. I want to shove my card in
> > the general direction of the machine, and get on with my life. A bit like
> > where store clerks pretend to match the signature on the receipt with that
> > on your card. They don't care which way up the card is :)
>
>
> That's why I suggested redesigng both the card and the reader so there's
> only one way to put it in. I never had a problem with floopy disks. (You
> know, except for the fact that they had such limited storage space.) You
> could just glance at it and know which way it went in. If ATMs were so
> universally designed, millions of people would be incrementally less annoyed
> at least once a week. Now that's progress!
>
> -r-
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

7 Apr 2006 - 12:25pm
Katie Albers
2005

>[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>A redesign would be very expensive given the huge install base.
>Sometimes a simple solution is better and cheaper.
>
>So, how about a simple arrow drawn on the card? Quick, everyone!
>Retrofit your cards today. (I think all ATMs take the card in the
>same orientation... If I'm wrong, this won't work.)
>
>Jay

Yeah...well...sorry...you're wrong. ATMs come in at least two
varieties, with the slot that you slide the card into flat (where you
have a 50/50 chance of error, assuming you can distinguish the top
and the bottom) and those where you slide an edge of the card through
a detector (which have a 75% chance of failure since it could be
either edge, facing either direction)...And then, as an additional
complicating factor on many ATMs ... once you've achieved
card-reading-ness, you have to move back and forth between a touch
screen and a keypad to enter the data.

Katie

7 Apr 2006 - 1:55pm
natekendrick
2005

On Apr 7, 2006, at 1:56 AM, Tony Smith wrote:

> The machine should make my life easier, not vice-versa. If the
> machine
> makes my life harder, then it's wrong, not me.

There is always the question of "first cause" that should be asked.

ATMs were most likely invented so that you can execute transactions
with your bank easier and more efficiently -- primarily to earn or
save banks more money. Secondarily they help the user without needing
to carry cash around.

If the "spending money" task was approached purely from a UCD
perspective - the current incarnation of the ATM would probably be a
distinctly different solution.

Also, the idea of "scanning" the mag strip instead of inserting the
card has already been done! I just saw a commercial for Mastercard
advertising this new feature for point-of-sale.

MasterCard PayPass (r) http://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/
aboutourcards/paypass/index.html

9 Apr 2006 - 7:34pm
cfmdesigns
2004

From: "Tony Smith" <ajsmith at rivernet.com.au>

>A 4 head reader wouldn't be that more expensive than the current ones,
>relatively speaking. Nobody will ever build one, of course, why would
>they? I'm doomed to spend 5 seconds every time at the ATM trying to
>figure out which way the card goes.

Frankly, you would be doomed even if a four-head reader came along,
because it wouldn't be ubiquitous, at least for several years and
maybe not forever. So you would still spend that time figuring out
whether this was an oriented machine or not. Net gain: nothing.

Of course, if the solution isn't implementable, how about changing
the problem: let's have cards with four magstripes (or even just
two). Then it also won't matter how the card is inserted, while also
not requiring a hardware solution.

Of course, this just gets us to the QuickPass sort of solution: why
multiple stripes when the whole care can be used?

>Magstripe will be around forever (cheap), even punch cards have sorta
>survived (take a look at your airline boarding pass)

Mine was printed with a 2-D barcode on it (I'm somewhere over North
Dakota as I write this). I haven't had a punchcard-style one in
years.

Of course, even with a computer reader scanning the barcode, we still
got someone on the plane who was supposed to be on another plane.
(And since Alaska only flies a couple flights out of Newark a day,
supposed to be on another *airline*.) Why the heck does stuff like
that happen? Who designed a system that checks off the seat number
but doesn't check the flight info?
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 05/09)

10 Apr 2006 - 2:23am
Tony Smith
2006

A redesign would be very expensive given the huge install base.
Sometimes a simple solution is better and cheaper.

So, how about a simple arrow drawn on the card? Quick, everyone!
Retrofit your cards today. (I think all ATMs take the card in the
same orientation... If I'm wrong, this won't work.)

Jay

Doesn't work, most show a picture with the numbers on the card, which are
always on the front, at the bottom.

Most ATMs expect the card to be stripe down, to the right. Some want the
stripe to be on top, and their picture shows that.

Maybe we could hire people to put the card in for poeple....

Tony

10 Apr 2006 - 2:32am
Tony Smith
2006

> Also, the idea of "scanning" the mag strip instead of inserting the card
> has already been done! I just saw a commercial for Mastercard
advertising > this new feature for point-of-sale.
>
> MasterCard PayPass (r)
> http://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/aboutourcards/paypass/index.html

Well, without looking at the link, that's RFID, not magstripe. The cards
have both for 'backwards compatibility'. As I said before, RFID solves
the orientation problem by not needing it.

In this case, providing I can buy a newpaper with this POS system, it
elimates the entire ATM network since I no longer need cash.

So, can I buy a newspaper with my credit card yet? I've only been waiting
20 years. (and given small & micro-credit transactions on the 'net
haven't been figured out yet, I think I'll still be waiting.)

Tony

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