People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Everyday Usability: Card Swipers

Ever since reading Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things (there’s an updated edition, by the way), I’ve been particularly more observant of design and usability around me. A few years ago, we started the Everyday Usability series. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed the design and usability of card swipers. Card swipers = where you swipe your credit or debit card to pay for a purchase, or a library card or copy card to pay for a photocopy, or bank/debit card to enter a bank after hours. Sometimes you have to swipe the card upside down, sometimes right side up. Why can’t we have a universal card swiper where it doesn’t matter how we swipe the card?


One response to “Everyday Usability: Card Swipers

  1. Jacqui Everett April 22, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Don Norman’s book is amazing, I went to the NNG usability week a few years ago and saw him do a talk there and it was truly inspirational. It certainly made me realise so many things that are just accepted as the norm but are extremely non user friendly (doors you push that have handles!).

    This makes so much sense about the card readers, especially now they have introduced contactless,you often see people stood there trying to swipe a loyalty card and eventually handing it over to the cashier, then trying to pay with contactless, realising it’s not a contactless machine so putting the card in, often upside down, before yet again giving it to the cashier as they have given up! Surely shops should make paying for things as easy as possible so they sell more!

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