Now, lets do a small exercise. Have a look at the below photo and tell me which button will you press to see the balance in your account? second one’¦or the third one?

the problem with ATM menus the problem with ATM menus

No, 2.5 isn’t the right answer. I figured it out that the third button will do the balance checking while the second button will withdraw money from my account. Well, it took two tries to figure this out, thanks to the confusing placement of ATM menus and their corresponding buttons.

Well, it isn’t the problem of UI designers. They did their best to bring out a visually pleasing screen. But then when you integrate that screen with the physical ATM interface, the usability has gone for a toss. Mainly because the viewing angle.

As you can see from the above photo, most of the ATM users will be looking at the screen from the same point of view as seen in that photo. Due to the perspective, the screen menus often mismatch with their corresponding buttons. To see the correct button for the menus, you need to bend down and keep your eyes parallel to the screen.

Good exercise, huh!? And, when tall people do this, it would be real fun to watch! :P

Coming back to the point, how hard it will for the ATM vendors to design an interface like this?

properly numbered atm menus properly numbered atm menus

Numbering the menus and buttons will make it easy for choosing the correct menu. I hope this will avoid the confusion. What say?