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Self-service Financial Transactions

In October 1999, InnoVentry began a three-year development effort to add money order purchases to the RPM Cash Management Machine. I was charged with designing an interaction that allowed users to build a virtual cash balance on a self-service kiosk, to use those funds to purchase products, and to receive cash from the balance. I helped define the business requirements and functional specifications required throughout the product development process.

October 1999 to May 2001

Interaction design
Product development (collaborative)
Design research
Business requirement definition (collaborative)
Functional design (collaborative)

I began by evaluating how our primary users conducted purchases in everyday life. The purchasing models that influenced the core design were vending machines and grocery stores. The vending machine experience required supplying funds first and then delivering the product -- a cash and buy interaction model. The grocery store experience required selecting products first and then collecting funds -- a shopping cart interaction model.

My biggest challenge on this project was persuading company executives that additional time was needed in the project schedule to accommodate both of these purchasing models. Prior to this project, the company’s development efforts were primarily software driven, and it took a great deal of effort to convert the project to a user-centered development perspective.

The final design accommodated both purchasing models and both could be conducted in a single session utilizing a screen interface that was clearly understood by customers who were not technically savvy. Additionally, the design included flexibility to add new self-service financial products regardless of their interaction model.