Observing the MTA Metrocard Machine

A piece of interactive technology that I looked at this week was the MTA Metrocard Machine. It is used to purchase metrocards and check a customer’s metrocard balance. It is used and placed within train and select bus stations. The average customer spends somewhere in-between 30 seconds to 2 minutes to complete a transaction. Customers spend the most time paying for their purchase since they need to find their money/card from their wallet. There is a variety in a customer’s choice of interaction with the machine since they can chose to change the language of the interface or pay with a debit/credit card instead of bills.

The easiest part for the customer is to select the card they are aiming to purchase. Each button has a high contrast, making it visual appealing and clear what are their options. In addition, the color palette is limited to four colors: black, yellow, red, and white.

The physical interface is color coded. The slots that accept cash are colored green, the debit and credit card pin pad are blue, the slot that returns receipts and money is red (highlighting to customers this important), and lastly where you insert your metrocard is yellow (the same shade of yellow as your metrocard). Overall, I think the machine is efficient and customers usually have a quick interaction with the program.

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