Critique Requested: Cooper InteractionDesignerTest

7 Apr 2006 - 12:37pm
8 years ago
8 replies
468 reads
Markus Grupp-TM
2006

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

Agreed, given that there are more than a million ATM/ABMs worldwide (according to the ATMIA), with each costing at least USD10000, perhaps it's not a stretch to assume a complete re-design to be out of scope in this case study ;-)

The fact that some of their customers have difficulty inserting their card into the machine is likely not compelling enough for a bank to redesigning and redeploying its network of ATMs, especially since in several countries they do not charge their customers to use these machines. (granted, there
is an inherent cost saving).

ATM fraud, however, may be compelling enough.

Markus

Comments

7 Apr 2006 - 1:16pm
Todd Roberts
2005

This assumes the design is for a large, established bank. What if it's for a
startup that wants to distinguish itself via exceptional ATM usability?

On 4/7/06, Markus Grupp <Markus.Grupp at telus.com> wrote:
>
> [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.
>
> Agreed, given that there are more than a million ATM/ABMs worldwide
> (according to the ATMIA), with each costing at least USD10000, perhaps it's
> not a stretch to assume a complete re-design to be out of scope in this case
> study ;-)
>
> The fact that some of their customers have difficulty inserting their card
> into the machine is likely not compelling enough for a bank to redesigning
> and redeploying its network of ATMs, especially since in several countries
> they do not charge their customers to use these machines. (granted, there
> is an inherent cost saving).
>
> ATM fraud, however, may be compelling enough.
>
> Markus
>
>
>
>
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7 Apr 2006 - 2:46pm
natekendrick
2005

On Apr 7, 2006, at 11:16 AM, Todd Roberts wrote:

> This assumes the design is for a large, established bank. What if
> it's for a
> startup that wants to distinguish itself via exceptional ATM
> usability?

I think the point of design exercises (and even just the activity of
design) is to make an useful, elegant, creative solution without
saying "What if..." statements.

What if time travel was possible with today's technology? Then if you
inserted the card wrong, the ATM could reverse time back for you to
try again. problem solved.

7 Apr 2006 - 3:03pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

In both Cooper books I've read, he's advocated a "wave your magic wand"
approach to seeing design possibilities. In that sense, I'd expect they'd be
looking for solutions that are more creative than feasible.

-r-

On 4/7/06, Nathan Kendrick <natekendrick at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
>
> On Apr 7, 2006, at 11:16 AM, Todd Roberts wrote:
>
> > This assumes the design is for a large, established bank. What if
> > it's for a
> > startup that wants to distinguish itself via exceptional ATM
> > usability?
>
>
> I think the point of design exercises (and even just the activity of
> design) is to make an useful, elegant, creative solution without
> saying "What if..." statements.
>
> What if time travel was possible with today's technology? Then if you
> inserted the card wrong, the ATM could reverse time back for you to
> try again. problem solved.
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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 - 3:19pm
Josh Seiden
2003

> I think the point of design exercises (and even just
> the activity of
> design) is to make an useful, elegant, creative
> solution without
> saying "What if..." statements.

It would be a very limited design universe indeed if
we were not able to ask "what if?"

I've been biting my tongue on this thread for a long
time, because I used to be a hiring manager at Cooper,
and know very specifically what they're looking for in
a test response.

So, I'll limit my comments to three:

1. Regarding Nathan's comment, there are two sayings
that are favorites at Cooper. "Pretend it's magic"
allows designers to step away from constraints and
consider what's possible. (This is the mother of all
"what if" statements.) The other, "reality bats last"
means that eventually, reality will impose itself upon
your thinking. Reality never needs an advocate.
Sometimes though, it's the designer's job to advocate
for magic.

2. Responding more generally to the initial poster, my
advice is to read Cooper's books, then critique your
work in terms of the ideas you find there. This type
of principles-based critique can be a powerful
learning technique. I think designers owe it to
themselves to engage in this type of self-critique
from time to time.

3. Looks like Cooper needs a new test :-)

JS

7 Apr 2006 - 3:49pm
natekendrick
2005

This is a very interesting point.

Creativity is not just defined in the context of "If anything goes...
then what?"

Let's label that as blank canvas creativity. In my opinion, it is the
dominion of fine artists and talented advertising pitchmen. Okay,
that's grossly generalizing but you get my direction.

Creativity when it comes to usable, interactive devices or software
interfaces is rarely benefited by this blank canvas. Usability is
largely based on shared experiences -- buttons are buttons, you press
them. Look at the iPod click-wheel, it is an amalgamation of existing
interface elements, not a blank-slate inspired creation that leaped
into existence from the mind of a design auteur.

To give a creative person free reign to create a solution with a
magic wand... for an exercise - it is valuable, you can sense the
basic level of creativity of a person to determine if they are a
candidate.

But I doubt that in day to day work, this blank slate creative
thinking is valuable beyond stretching and warming up the creative
muscle. The real work and creativity is when you begin to mesh user's
needs, available resources, business drivers, and countless other
potential inputs.

> 1. Regarding Nathan's comment, there are two sayings
> that are favorites at Cooper. "Pretend it's magic"
> allows designers to step away from constraints and
> consider what's possible. (This is the mother of all
> "what if" statements.) The other, "reality bats last"
> means that eventually, reality will impose itself upon
> your thinking. Reality never needs an advocate.
> Sometimes though, it's the designer's job to advocate
> for magic.

7 Apr 2006 - 4:12pm
Katie Albers
2005

At 1:49 PM -0700 4/7/06, Nathan Kendrick wrote:

>Creativity is not just defined in the context of "If anything goes...
>then what?"

<snip>

>Creativity when it comes to usable, interactive devices or software
>interfaces is rarely benefited by this blank canvas. Usability is
>largely based on shared experiences -- buttons are buttons, you press
>them. Look at the iPod click-wheel, it is an amalgamation of existing
>interface elements, not a blank-slate inspired creation that leaped
>into existence from the mind of a design auteur.

<snip>

>But I doubt that in day to day work, this blank slate creative
>thinking is valuable beyond stretching and warming up the creative
>muscle. The real work and creativity is when you begin to mesh user's
>needs, available resources, business drivers, and countless other
>potential inputs.

I have to take exception to that. It's the magic wand approach that
stops you from saying "How do you make sure they orient the card
correctly?" and starts you saying "Why do they have to orient the
card?" and then, someone else says "Why is there a card?"

Thinking of usability entirely in terms of existing, familiar
technologies will keep you trapped in that paradigm and in those
problems. We've moved the issue of people having to respond to the
technology a little further downstream, but there's still a long way
to go. The technology should, as much as possible, respond to the
people.

Yes, it's true that what looks like a button should act like a
button; and an arrow should clearly distinguish a direction in the
generally agreed way. But first you need to ask "Do we need a button
in the first place?"

If you don't do that, then you keep designing variations (some more
usable and some less) of the same interfaces. And, to use the phrase
that begs to be used here, it is a case of the good being the enemy
of the best.

> > 1. Regarding Nathan's comment, there are two sayings
>> that are favorites at Cooper. "Pretend it's magic"
>> allows designers to step away from constraints and
>> consider what's possible. (This is the mother of all
>> "what if" statements.) The other, "reality bats last"
>> means that eventually, reality will impose itself upon
>> your thinking. Reality never needs an advocate.
>> Sometimes though, it's the designer's job to advocate
>> for magic.
>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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7 Apr 2006 - 5:24pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

> "reality bats last"
> means that eventually, reality will impose itself upon
> your thinking. Reality never needs an advocate.

To illustrate the inevitable reality imposition further: you are an
interaction designer (first reality imposition); someone asks you:
"Could you redesign this ATM card?" (second reality imposition); you
reply: "Who needs ATM?" and go to live in a desert for the rest of
your life (I have skipped couple steps here).

Well, this kind of reasoning is exceedingly rare (Buddha comes to
mind). Hence "You do not need to advocate for reality it will take
care of itself" is really good approach. New solutions (creativity)
will always be based on rearranging patterns from experience anyway
(another plug to Hawkins book is due here). Try to reach for untapped,
weakly connected patterns.
--
Oleh Kovalchuke

On 4/7/06, Josh Seiden <joshseiden at yahoo.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> > I think the point of design exercises (and even just
> > the activity of
> > design) is to make an useful, elegant, creative
> > solution without
> > saying "What if..." statements.
>
> It would be a very limited design universe indeed if
> we were not able to ask "what if?"
>
> I've been biting my tongue on this thread for a long
> time, because I used to be a hiring manager at Cooper,
> and know very specifically what they're looking for in
> a test response.
>
> So, I'll limit my comments to three:
>
> 1. Regarding Nathan's comment, there are two sayings
> that are favorites at Cooper. "Pretend it's magic"
> allows designers to step away from constraints and
> consider what's possible. (This is the mother of all
> "what if" statements.) The other, "reality bats last"
> means that eventually, reality will impose itself upon
> your thinking. Reality never needs an advocate.
> Sometimes though, it's the designer's job to advocate
> for magic.
>
> 2. Responding more generally to the initial poster, my
> advice is to read Cooper's books, then critique your
> work in terms of the ideas you find there. This type
> of principles-based critique can be a powerful
> learning technique. I think designers owe it to
> themselves to engage in this type of self-critique
> from time to time.
>
> 3. Looks like Cooper needs a new test :-)
>
> JS

8 Apr 2006 - 10:58am
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

> 3. Looks like Cooper needs a new test :-)

Not necessarily.

Ability to use extended social brain is valuable real life skill (and
the reason for existence of this mailing list). The goal of the test
could be to present original solution regardless of the method (I do
realize that "using social brain" technique is normally called
"cheating" in school and therefore probably wasn't considered as
valuable in the test).

--
Oleh Kovalchuke

On 4/7/06, Josh Seiden <joshseiden at yahoo.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> > I think the point of design exercises (and even just
> > the activity of
> > design) is to make an useful, elegant, creative
> > solution without
> > saying "What if..." statements.
>
> It would be a very limited design universe indeed if
> we were not able to ask "what if?"
>
> I've been biting my tongue on this thread for a long
> time, because I used to be a hiring manager at Cooper,
> and know very specifically what they're looking for in
> a test response.
>
> So, I'll limit my comments to three:
>
> 1. Regarding Nathan's comment, there are two sayings
> that are favorites at Cooper. "Pretend it's magic"
> allows designers to step away from constraints and
> consider what's possible. (This is the mother of all
> "what if" statements.) The other, "reality bats last"
> means that eventually, reality will impose itself upon
> your thinking. Reality never needs an advocate.
> Sometimes though, it's the designer's job to advocate
> for magic.
>
> 2. Responding more generally to the initial poster, my
> advice is to read Cooper's books, then critique your
> work in terms of the ideas you find there. This type
> of principles-based critique can be a powerful
> learning technique. I think designers owe it to
> themselves to engage in this type of self-critique
> from time to time.
>
> 3. Looks like Cooper needs a new test :-)
>
> JS

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