Friday 19 December 2008

How many user experience principles does this example break?

Important: Keep in mind that this particular machine only issues one type of ticket - a free one hour ticket - which needs to be displayed on the dashboard of your car.

Correct answers (posted in the comments) win a page from the "Usability Gurus Scope Their Guns" calendar from 1995. Page is signed by Mr November (Jakob Nielsen) who appears reclining on a bearskin rug - bare chested - with a brandy balloon in one hand and a list of heuristics in t'other.


Unknown said...

This example breaks every imaginable UX principle. And that in itself is an amazing experience. In fact, it's a piece of art! :)

Anonymous said...

I'll start with 'misleading grouping'. The proximity of 'Reject Coins' and 'Additional ticket machines located in carpark' suggest some relationship between these two that escapes me.

Matt Morphett said...

Great observation Shane. They have obviously had problems with people not understanding how to use this unit and they just keep adding stickers to "make it easier to use". You have to wonder at a single function device that is literally festooned with help.

I wonder if there is a maxim / rule of thumb / kpi in here somewhere...

"If you have more overt, textual help that there are functions, then you are doing something wrong".

BTW: You win the calendar page buddy.

TimQ said...

Then there is the follow on effect to consider. Last time I spent so much time making sure I pressed the correct button sequence (even though I've done it a hundred times, as I know this particular machine) I forgot to place the final ticket on the dash and got a fine.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to update your blog - you clown.

Anonymous said...

i hate that stupid machine. ever since they installed it i have been baffled about what to press, when, what order then waiting for it to do i just risk a fine :)
congrats on making me feel dumb!


Anonymous said...

This, along with so many other ticketing devices around the traps, is an EPIC FAIL.

I think I know the place that this ticket machine lives. All it needs is one large "PUSH FOR TICKET" button and a slot where the ticket comes out. All the other stuff is just meaningless.

The funny thing is that when you look at the complexity of the interface on that machine, it actually implies that it's designed to make you pay, or that there is something way more complicated that it's trying to achieve.

Unfortunately this kind of overengineering and unnecessary high level of complexity isn't just something that the design/UX world suffers -- we feel it in the code too! :)