Sunday, August 21, 2005

Let's revisit the self-checkouts. One of my biggest irritants with using these myself is that they seem to have been created with no user-testing whatsoever. When you walk up, you're met with a huge number of buttons along with the phrase "or just scan." So I "just scan." Everytime I start scanning from this screen, I get the immediate feedback beep from the laser scanner, then the whole machine just sits there for about 3-4 seconds before it states the price of the first scanned item. What the hell is it doing? Did they have to use the slowest computer they could think of to run these things? The engineer who decided that a Commodore Vic-20 with 16K of memory and a 50 baud connection to the backend database was sufficient to run these things deserves to be boiled in oil. Slowly.