Interesting Interfaces

User experience is a huge thing when designing applications and public facing kiosks. You have to think of how the public will use and abuse this device, and how it will deal with the elements if it is outside. I like to think about these things when I am interacting with a new device out in the wild. I found 2 in one day last week.
The first was when I was putting gas in my car. The pump had a new color screen installed that was displaying the instructions on using the pump. I thought nice upgrade and started to go through the transaction of purchasing gas at the pump. rewards card, debit card, choose your fuel, and pump yo gas.
As i started pumping the gas the screen started to play an entertainment news clip about 2 people I did not know or care about. Really!? Then it played a clip of some night show host reading some tweet about himself and Ellen DeGeneres, and again I did not care. As I was finishing pumping the third and last thing it showed was the local weather for 3 days, and this to me was useful.
That evening when my wife and I went to Sonic I found they too had installed new screens that were cycling menu items that were on promo. Looking at the menu I relayed the earlier gas experience to my wife and then we ordered. pushing the red button the screen turned and informed us that they would be with us in a moment. When the order taker came over the speaker the screen turned and as they took our order it was displayed on the screen. After the order was taken it showed the total and gave us an opportunity to pay with a few options, then went back to cycling promos.
I had 2 vastly different experiences, but both harked back to when my bank first started putting screens on the drive up teller tubes. This allowed the teller to see the customer, and when it was not used as a view screen it displayed financial news and local weather. All three of these give a different user experience, and have been implemented in different capacities. Personally I prefer context based display ads like the bank displaying financial news, or the promo rotations at sonic, but I no not care for “Entertainment News” to be shoved down my throat.
end rant

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