An UX example – ATM @sigurjon

Prologue: Walked into an ATM of one of the largest private bank’s in India to withdraw cash. This bank prides itself in staying on top of technology and is a front runner in rolling out new technologies often in retail banking arena. I usually skip printing transaction confirmation receipt(s) during any point of my interaction with the ATM. It was an ATM present in non-regular location.

After completing the transaction, the ATM prompted with the following message,



This is a harmless and simple User Interface, but the key thing to notice is the presence of a main message and a picture based message near the selection buttons. Now, there are two messages in the screen, which are seemingly contradicting each other when viewed from context of the choice we have to make.

Although, I wanted to skip printing the receipt step, after a quick glance, my hand went into auto pilot mode and pressed “Yes” button. The ATM spat out my transaction details and only then I realized my mistake.

How can one save trees and print the receipt? It sounds like an oxymoron. It looks like the button locations were designed with only the main message in context. Somewhere in the midst of encouraging users to skip printing receipts and save paper, the second message with tree logo was included. The positioning is very bad such that the entire message is lost and confuses the user. The intention is lost and this UI design in reality encourages more receipts to be printed.

One key thing to remember is that brain is context aware and tries to take short cuts. In this scenario, the message near the buttons were interpreted as more prominent and message on top was ignored. It is a question with same intent, but the answer Yes or No has a different meaning when compared to the first question.