For this part of the project my partner and I met up and looked through the 50 ideas we had. We noted that many of the 50 ideas fell into categories, such as:
– Utilizes a screen of some sort
– Adds lights/ sounds for feedback
– Increases Safety
– Utilizes wireless technology
– Helps the less fortunate
– Changes the way people make selections
We ultimately decided to utilize concepts from the first three groupings: a screen, light/sounds for feedback, and helps the less fortunate.
There was some light confusion regarding how we were incorporating the screen into the machine. What I had in mind was to make the actual glass display double-function as a touch screen: in other words users would look through the glass to find a product they wanted, then actually touch the glass where the product is. Later during user testing we learned that many other people were also confused by this idea: there was no intuitive way to tell the users that the glass display itself is a touch screen. Although the idea was cool, it did not give users an intuitive idea on how to use the touch-screen-glass-display. In the end the screen was taken out and replaced with little buttons underneath each drink.
Light/ sounds were easily incorporated into the machine: we decided that upon the user choosing a drink, the row where the drink is stored will light up, giving the user visual feedback. Once the machine has vended the drink into the receptacle, the machine will beep and the drink in the receptacle will be lit again.
Our original idea was to make vending machines easier for handicapped people to use. We therefore made a very rough prototype of an assembly-line inspired vending machine, where a handicapped person would be able to pay, select a drink on the touch-screen-glass-display, and then grab the drink, moving from right-to-left. We also decided that the vending machine should donate a percentage of its proceedings to charities, and that it should advertise that it did so. We would later indicate where such advertisements would be located in pink on our later prototypes.
Our very rough prototype:
Now imagine a person in a wheelchair, moving from right to left in a smooth, convenient line. 🙂