A few years ago, I was heading to work and needed to stop by the ATM for cash.
This little neighborhood bank right outside a gated 55+ community near me, was my go to bank – so convenient and it felt safe.
When I drove, up a gentleman was using one of the two ATMs. Even though the bank was in a safe area – I thought I would wait for him to leave before getting out of my car. He was at the ATM on the right – and after a minute or so I see him take his card out and move to the ATM on the left. I was glad I had not got out of my car – and now I won’t get out because something is obviously not working with the machine on the right.
I sit there a few more minutes and now he takes his card out of the machine on the left and goes back to the machine on the right…
Urgh…I needed to get to work and now I have waited about 5 minutes – so I decide to brave it and see if something is wrong with the machines myself – so I don’t waste time waiting on broken machines.
When I put my card into the machine on the left – there are new instructions I had never seen. The machine tells me “remove your card and move to the next screen.” Thankfully the guy was still at the machine on the right – still struggling – so there was “no other screen to move to”… which gave me a moment of pause, to keep my feet planted and figure out what this new interface was telling me…within about 5 seconds I was able to put my finger on the screen in front of me – using the arrow to navigate to the next screen – which then asked for my pin.
It took everything in my power to not laugh out loud realizing what the poor guy next to me had done…
When he saw I was being successful with the machine he was able to navigate the ATM on the right of me and I could hear it working to dispense his cash too…and he left there successful as I did. But with a bit more red face than I.
Thankfully for him I did not physically move to a new machine, because he was still THERE and I had already seen him do the ATM Shuffle 3 times – so I was able to quietly learn from his experience.
When I returned to my car I did bust out laughing – crying tears and all – I could not believe how the bank had made such a blunder to the interface. Especially a bank sitting right outside a senior community. I wanted to sit there all day and just watch the customers doing the ATM shuffle…
I did sit there long enough to see another guy (not old at all) come up to the ATM and he did shuffle once before figuring it out.
I laughed all 30 minutes on my way to work.
I so wanted to sit there all day and just observe…
It is worth noting – I have worked in high tech all my life, including 10+ years with Apple and this was truly the most “un-intuitive interface” I had ever experienced…and at a BANK no less – where our money is stored. Not good. I would expect all the abandoned transactions going on inside the bank’s systems prompted them to change the interface, because it was changed 2 days later.
Whenever I need a good laugh I just think of watching the ATM shuffle and that poor guy that took 3 shuffles to get it right. And the next guy who shuffled twice. Hahaha.
What great entertainment, I got all for free.