Imx Fix in my experience
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March 4, 2003 7:26 AM

At my local grocery store, there are five self check out lines that are almost always empty. Only when there's a snowstorm coming, and its right after work, will these lines be used by the non-geeks. I love it, because, being a UI dork, I like attempting to use these over complicated and highly conditional systems to see how they work.

First, when you approach the register/thing it sense that something has come close, so it starts telling you how to work the system. IF you have a Bonus Card, please scan that first, and then you can start scanning all of your junk, but if you have any oranges, please weight them, but if they are Tangerines, those are four for a dollar, so just look up the item on the touch screen (I was able to do this in four clicks, but I've seen others use seven or ten more than that).

Ok, that Coke you have, well, the UPC label is coded in to represent a six pack, so when you scan that, the light over the register/thing will start blinking, so a cashier can run over and tell you how to deal with that (thus I now avoid single bottles of soda at this store). Now, keep scanning your stuff, and watch it go down to the conveyer, where it sits there until you are done and can go bag it yourself.

Ready to pay? Ok, if you want to use cash, hit the cash button on the touch screen, and if you have change, insert that first, and then your bills (and this is where the system shines, I have yet to have a refused bill of any kind), and when you insert enough money to match or exceed your bill, your change is ejected in a spot back behind the register/thing. If you have change that's more than a buck, bills come out somewhere else, which the system tells you in a not-so-sexy mother like voice. In a third location above eye level, two feet down the aisle, your receipt is printed out on top of the machine that looks at the conveyer belt to make sure you put four tangerines thru, not five.

No cash? No problem, press the credit button, or if you prefer, the debit button. Now, go back to the beginning of the aisle, and swipe you card thru a different machine, hit the credit or debit key on this machine, and then listen to unsexy mother like register/thing tell you that is "processing" ... "processing" ... "processing" ... "processing"

I should start a photoblog of all of the confused faces that I see alighting upon these poor customers. Until then, I've got the system down pat (thru learned behaviors) and use it at every chance, because it gets me out of the store faster than anyone else (especially those who are older than me).