Wells Fargo offers up a better ATM experience

Published on: 2015-02-05

From Physical Interface, via Experentia:

Previously, the UI had to run on touchscreens as well as machines with buttons afforded by the hardware. This meant that screen buttons always had to be placed on the left and right sides of the screen in order to line up with the tactile buttons. The decision to decouple the new screen layout from the old “buttons-on-the-side” hardware was one of the most important design decisions of this product.

From looking at usage statistics, the design team learned that the single-most used feature of an ATM is the cash withdrawal. Even though many more services are available, most people simply want to be able to quickly and safely punch in their security code, get the cash, and leave. The objective for the new UI was to continue to offer quick and easy cash withdrawals, while making the other services more visible and accessible. Some of these services, such as purchasing stamps and printing account statements, can be convenient for customers and they save a trip to the post office or branch office. For Wells Fargo, it is an additional source of revenue.
Our take:

The full article is well worth a read -- it's quite interesting to see the kind of thought and preparation that went into the design of the visual interface for these next-generation ATMs. While they provide self-service functionality like any other interactive kiosk, people have specific expectations about how an ATM should function, and reservations whenever something doesn't behave as they think it should, since money is on the line.  Thus, Holger notes, it's important to give both the client and their clients (the bank patrons) explanations for why things are they way that they are. Still, we have some reservations about some of the design choices (low-contrast button schemes? really?), overall the reasons for most of the decisions are well thought-out and described.  It will be particularly interesting to see how many of these design considerations make it into the final product.

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