Paying at the grocery

I’ve been awfully political lately, here’s some lighthearted stuff to break the mood.

OK, you know those things that you use to pay with a credit/debit card at the grocery? This is one of the worst machines I’ve ever seen. I’ve used it well over one hundred times, and I still have to stop and read every button every time. Have you ever seen someone try to use it for the first time? You might as well be in line behind some who wants to pay by trading leftover kleenex — it’s gonna be a while.

The sad part is that 95% of patrons are using it to do the exact same thing — pay with a card. How hard is that? The price comes up, you swipe your card, you push yes. How many buttons do you need? Two? They have over 20. A standard numeric keypad. 3 keys that change their function depending what point you are in the process. Another 3 or 6 with various payment options. It’s insane. Think about this device the next time you use it. Then tell me I’m wrong.

Sadly, I feel just as strongly about this as I do the political material. There will be more posts on bad user interfaces in normal life. It drives me crazy. I actually spend time nodding my head while I read sites like this.

Update: Here is a pic of the interface so you can see how ridiculous it is.

3 thoughts on “Paying at the grocery”

  1. I agree with this. I went to Kroger today and actually counted the buttons on the stupid little machine. 24 buttons. Here’s what I think they need to do: ELIMINATE THE DEVICE. It would be much better if they replaced these with those things like they have at Home Depot. With those devices, the buttons are presented graphically. Only those buttons relevant to the function at hand are displayed. Infinitely more elegant.

  2. In the grocery store yesterday, based on Muttrox’s post, I evaluated the credit/debit card thingie. 18 buttons, of which I have only ever used 2 — the “Credit” button at the top and the Green “Yes” button at the bottom. Once again, Muttrox is right on the money.

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