Project 1 Part 1: Stalking Vending Machines

We decided to observe one of the vending machines located across from the Jazzman’s cafe in the library, specifically the one to the farthest right. This specific vending machine offers cheaper drinks than the other machines at 75 cents per 8 oz can.

Observations took place during:

1) the morning: 9-11 am

2) the afternoon: 3-4 pm

3) the evening: 9-11 pm

In addition to our observations, we also tallied how many people used which machines: not surprisingly everyone went for the big bottles of caffeine and ‘breakfast’ in the morning. Our vending machine was busiest in the afternoon. Water was highest in demand at night.


1. Cheaper than other machines
2. Closer to the entrance way
3. Simpler to use
4. Can’t see well from behind the wall
5. People walking past always look at machines
6. People already have their Buzzcard out from signing in
7. Large grouping of machines draws attention
8. Many people seem to make an effort to pass the vending machines when passing Jazzman’s
9. Most purchase with card over money; it’s easier to swipe a card
10. Those buying snacks will occasionally buy a drink as well, especially if it’s a salty snack
11. The people who most frequently buy from the vending machines are those passing by to
move to another area
12. The most popular vending machines in the morning dispensed either ½ liter bottles or
13. The most popular vending machines in the afternoon dispensed 8 oz cans
14. The change machine is located right next to the vending machines
15. Audio cues alert user as to whether the Buzzcard was swiped correctly and to inform the
user that the desired product has been successfully dispensed
16. Vending machine and the buttons with the product labels are lit up
17. In the morning, people move into the area, and therefore use the middle and mid-right
vending machines: the right-most vending machine is skipped
18. In the afternoon, people leave the area, and are more prone to use the vending machine close
to the exit


1. Walk into Jazzman’s
2. Think, “Hm, I’m thirsty.”
3. Choose closest/cheapest vending machine
4. Decide if you want to pay by Buzzcard or cash
5. If you choose Buzzcard, slide it through the slit in the black box The blue strip should be
facing to the right. If the transaction occurred, there will be a small beep.
6. If paying by cash, insert dollar face-up
7. Push button of the desired drink product
8. Wait as machine whirs and prepares to dispense drink. Status says, “Vending”
9. Drink drops into bottom right recepticle
10. Take drink
11. If there is change, take it.

Michelle Bjornas Demonstrates Proper Vending Machine Operation!


Possibilities for Error:

1. Buzzcard facing wrong direction
2. Cash upside down
3. No change back
4. No drink
5. Two drinks
6. Wrong drink


1. Two other drink machines
2. Two snack machines
3. Jazzman’s
4. Water fountain
5. No drink at all

Storyboard 1: Savvy User with Buzzcard

Storyboard 2: Unlucky User with Cash

Possible Improvements:

1. Better placement (more traffic, higher visibility)
2. More variety (Less buttons for Coke, more products)
3. Visual interactivity (See the object you are ordering)
4. Know which way to slide Buzzcard


About foldingwishes

I am a 3rd year CM major interested in animation and narratology. I believe that design is important and highly applicable to all fields and that good design creates enjoyable experiences. My favorite shows are Samurai Jack, My Life as a Teenage Robot and Avatar the Last Airbender and my favorite movies are Le Grande Chef, Ratatouille and the Great Mouse Detective.
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