One time I was picking up a movie from Redox for me and my roommate to watch. It was the first time that I had picked up a movie from Redbox, so I had asked him what I needed to do. He had told me that all I needed to do was swipe the card and the system would know what movie to give me (he had reserved to movie via the Redbox app, and gave me his card to use to pay for it). When I got there, I promptly swiped his card, expecting to see the Redbox to give me a confirmation screen of some sort. I was rather surprised when all it did was beep. There was no indication of what had gone wrong. I tried the card again, thinking that maybe the reader hadn’t read it correctly. The same thing happened. I tried the card facing the other way, and again, all it did was beep. I swiped in the other direction with the same result. It was nearly five minutes before I noticed the two buttons in the bottom left corner, as can be seen in the image below. I clicked the pick up button, swiped the card, and picked up the movie.
The main issue that I had with this situation was the lack of feedback that I, the user, received when I did something wrong. It was not only annoying, but my inability to determine what I had done wrong made me feel stupid, and that in turn made me angry. Below is a flowchart of the experience that I went through.
The best way to handle this is simply providing feedback on the screen when the user does something out of order. A simple message such as “Please select what you would like to do first.” would work here. A revised flowchart for this can be found below.
Designing by myself was an interesting experience, partially because I had already had thoughts on this event, but also because as I considered it I realized that my initial thoughts, while certainly not bad, may not have been the best option. I also considered some things that I had not previously, such as securely handling credit card numbers, and this caused me to discard my original thoughts.