Archive for October, 2007

The PIN machine: solving a usability mystery

Saturday, October 27th, 2007


For more than a decade, we’ve been using little machines on the counters of shops to pay, by inserting our card with the magnetic strip on one side… and usually we insert it into the slot with the magnetic strip on the wrong side. The handy pictogram above the LED screen (above at left) somehow doesn’t work. There have been tens of re-designs, but we still stubbornly misinterpret it. In a moment of brilliance, I figured out how to re-design the pictogram and make it work. A neighborhood office services shop ‘Vlug ‘n Zeker’ (Fast ‘n Reliable) has implemented the pictogram to test my idea – the first results are coming in today…