Alexander Isley from the 2paragraphs Designer Interviews:
I wish that I (or someone — anyone!) had designed the Stop & Shop self-checkout user experience. I find it borderline incomprehensible, and I know it’s not just me. I often hang back and watch shoppers try to navigate the system, and even seasoned users struggle with it. Whatever this is, it’s the opposite of intuitive.
The whole self-checkout station is an array of haphazardly bolted-together hardware; the placement of the modules has little relationship to the steps required to scan, sign for, and pay for purchases. It’s a logical and visual mess, with screens, slots, scanning beds and instructions that require the customer to bounce around like a pinball. The two (!) interface screens have little relationship to one another, other than they are both horrible. The whole arrangement looks like an early prototype one would assemble to test the concept before investing in UI and product design, but they just skipped the design part and shipped the pieces out to the stores. All this is surprising, as so many things about Stop & Shop are so well considered. This is a big, fat, missed opportunity to make the shopping experience less painful, even pleasant. As it is now, the shopper’s parting experience is one of annoyance. My advice: take the money you’re saving on cashiers’ and baggers’ salaries and invest in getting this right. (I don’t want to just pick on Stop & Shop, as other big retailers that should also know better are doing the same kind of thing. I’m sort of looking over in your direction, The Home Depot.)
Alexander Isley first gained recognition in the early 1980s as the senior designer at Tibor Kalman’s influential M&Co. He also served as the first full-time art director at the funny and fearless Spy magazine, and in 1988 founded Alexander Isley Inc.