Project 1 Part 4: Prototyping Our Improved Vending Machine

According to our last critique session with the class, there was some concern with the right-to-left and left-to-right idea. There was also some concern concerning space. We went ahead and incorporated our ideas into the vending machine prototypes you see below: there were originally 5, but one got destroyed.

Other ideas we incorporated into the design were a coin-basket, a proxy-based buzzcard reader (users usually fumbled with which direction to swipe their card: this would alleviate that problem), and wheels for mobility. What you see below represent the front of the machines: we had a separate box-with-wheels that we would then paste the following designs on top of.

Many people had a difficult time learning that the actual glass display itself is a touch-screen (a few had to wrap their heads around the concept and questioned whether it was possible yet with today’s technology). Though I wasn’t too happy with it originally, we’ve decided that for our final idea it would be a wise idea to include buttons underneath all the drinks: it’s true that it will take away from the appeal of the design, and that short people will have difficulties reaching the very top (another concern a classmate raised), but the direct connection customers have with the selection they make will still be there. Many people also expressed that they disliked the assembly-line approach, and preferred the familiar approach of having the display on one side and the controls/ dispenser on the other. People preferred their controls to be on the right. In the long run, users were more comfortable using a machine that looked familiar to the ones they were used to.

There was also a really nice, snazzy-looking white design with rounded corners: many people found it the most attractive of the five, but unfortunately it got a bit mangled before it could reach the scanner. It was fairly close to the original rough prototype and was the first one made. Perhaps I’ll remake it when I have time.


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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