Critique Requested: Cooper Interaction Designer Test

31 Mar 2006 - 6:32pm
8 years ago
9 replies
1125 reads
Vijay Venkatraman
2006

Hi all,

I recently applied for the Cooper Interaction Designer position and got
rejected. I've attached my solution to the Interaction Designer Test for
your critique. Please feel free to be ruthless in your analysis. I know
there's plenty for me to learn and I want to get started on it ASAP.

I am looking forward to your critique.

Thanks!

Vijay

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Interaction Designer Test Solution - Vijay.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 483574 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : /pipermail/discuss-interactiondesigners.com/attachments/20060331/9cc02b78/InteractionDesignerTestSolution-Vijay.pdf

Comments

1 Apr 2006 - 1:30pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

I do not know correct answer (well, there isn't one, since there is no
truth, only approximations). I guess they are looking for new concepts
in this test, not critique and slight modifications of existing
designs. For instance for tables I would have suggested a way to
create and modify table visually and right in the body of the document
(actually possible).

In the ATM example your "Jeeves, the butler" is both exceptionally
rude and rather unforthcoming. I would consider firing him right after
he informed me that I have inserted card incorrectly and would do so
at the PIN screen.
--
Oleh Kovalchuke

PS I highly recommend Wodehouse books - an authoritative source of
functional specs of Jeeves, the butler ( http://tinyurl.com/kp7ze ).

On 3/31/06, Vijay Venkatraman <vvijay at u.washington.edu> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
>
> Hi all,
>
>
>
> I recently applied for the Cooper Interaction Designer position and got
> rejected. I've attached my solution to the Interaction Designer Test for
> your critique. Please feel free to be ruthless in your analysis. I know
> there's plenty for me to learn and I want to get started on it ASAP.
>
>
>
> I am looking forward to your critique.
>
>
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
> Vijay
>
>
>

1 Apr 2006 - 3:13pm
Vijay Venkatraman
2006

Hi Oleh,

Thank you so much for taking the time to critique my test solution. Yes, my
solution for the table creation was very ordinary and nothing
out-of-the-box. Considering that I was applying to Cooper, I should have
known that they were looking for a radical solution.

I also agree that my ATM messages are rude and system-centered. This
exercise has helped me tell the difference between a rude system-centered
message and a user-friendly message.

I am looking forward to more critiques from others so that I may identify
other design blunders.

Thank you so much,

Vijay

1 Apr 2006 - 9:31pm
Chris McLay
2005

> I am looking forward to more critiques from others so that I may
> identify
> other design blunders.

Hi,

I haven't had the time to look in detail into your solutions, but you
must have spent much, much longer on it than the five hours
recommended by the test. At 48 pages I'm guessing you spent a few
days at least.

I would suggest the length of your solutions probably counted fairly
heavily against you.

Chris

--
Chris McLay ...// interaction & visual designer

Email chris at eeoh.com.au
Web http://www.eeoh.com.au/chris/

2 Apr 2006 - 12:56am
Vijay Venkatraman
2006

Hi Chris,

I spent roughly 17 (6+11) hours on the solution. I guess I spent a little
too much time. The ATM design problem was vague and I did not know how much
detail they wanted. So I decided to err on the side of extra details rather
than give them lesser than they wanted.

Thank you so much for your input,

Vijay

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris McLay [mailto:chris at eeoh.com.au]

At 48 pages I'm guessing you spent a few days at least. I would suggest the
length of your solutions probably counted fairly heavily against you.

4 Apr 2006 - 3:59am
Tony Smith
2006

My eyes kinda glazed over at the Word tables bit (I play with Word far to
much), but I did look thru the ATM stuff.

The problem is you didn't really come up with anything ATMs don't already
do, and your solutions still involve a lot of back & forth between the
user & the ATM, which is what Cooper doesn't want (I guess).

For example, I once worked on a project for movie tickets; you purchased
the ticket over the phone (IVR) or the 'net with your credit card. When
you arrived at the cinema, you walked up to the ATM, stuck in your card,
and out came your ticket. No PIN, prompts, etc. The customer was
guaranteed a ticket, and quick service at the cinema (no queue). The
project failed for various reasons, but it was nice idea.

ATMs have one purpose in life - give me my money.

Many existing ATMs do what you've proposed, or similar. One bank's ATM
has a 'favourite withdrawal' option which you can set to whatever $ you
want. It also shows preset amounts, $20, $40, $100, etc.

You also get in the users way by asking unneeded questions. For example,
if they try to withdraw over the daily limit, it makes a suggestion 'how
about $x instead', then goes to the receipt yes/no question. Why not just
show 'Over daily limit: Get $x with receipt / Get $x without receipt /
Change $x'. The odds are the user will take the maximum allowed, so why
the bonus question? Same for the 'multiples of $20' bit. Skip the 'are
you sure' question.

Cooper are looking for more that just a re-design of the software, there's
nothing stopping you from redesigning the ATM itself.

Someone mentioned my favourite annoyance - where you put the card in
wrong. In your solution, you tell the user they got it wrong. Not good.
Some machines these days detect the orientation of the card as you put it
in, and lock the slot to stop you pushing it in any further. Not a good
solution either.

Think about it, you have a 25% chance of getting the card into the slot
correctly. Rather poor odds!

You have 2 solutions to this, redesign the card, or the reader. For the
card, if the magnetic stripe was in the middle of the card, you now have a
50/50 chance of getting it right the first time. As a solution, this is a
non-starter.

So why not re-design the reader? Current readers have a single head to
read the stripe on the card. Why not make the reader have 4 heads, one in
each corner? No matter how you put the card in, it'll work. Now you
don't need an error message saying you put the card in wrong. One problem
solved.

Tony

Hi all,

I recently applied for the Cooper Interaction Designer position and got
rejected. I've attached my solution to the Interaction Designer Test for
your critique. Please feel free to be ruthless in your analysis. I know
there's plenty for me to learn and I want to get started on it ASAP.

I am looking forward to your critique.

Thanks!

Vijay

4 Apr 2006 - 10:29am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> So why not re-design the reader? Current readers have a single head to
> read the stripe on the card. Why not make the reader have 4 heads, one in
> each corner? No matter how you put the card in, it'll work. Now you
> don't need an error message saying you put the card in wrong. One problem
> solved.

You could also go Poka-yoke on the card and design it so it can only go in
one way (like a USB cable, for example).

-r-

5 Apr 2006 - 11:49am
natekendrick
2005

On Apr 4, 2006, at 1:59 AM, Tony Smith wrote:
>
> Think about it, you have a 25% chance of getting the card into the
> slot
> correctly. Rather poor odds!

25%? Okay, I'll bite. The best math I could figure out is 50%. I get
your point tho.

> So why not re-design the reader? Current readers have a single
> head to
> read the stripe on the card. Why not make the reader have 4 heads,
> one in
> each corner? No matter how you put the card in, it'll work. Now you
> don't need an error message saying you put the card in wrong. One
> problem
> solved.

Sure, but we all design within constraints. Sure the test is meant to
illicit creative thinking - but the most creative and elegant
solutions are in spite of constraints. In the best of cases,
constraints inspire solutions.

The next logical step for the designer to ask is "How much would it
cost to make a four head card reader?" The feasibility is always as
important as the "creative idea" and shows that a designer is a
designer, and not just a creative person that can non-sequitur from
idea to idea.

--

How about a card reader where the card doesn't need to be inserted at
all? Use the same magnetic reader mechanism, but have it exposed flat
on the ATM.

A user could just lay the card, stripe down on the reader. The
indentation of where to lay the card would show how the card should
be oriented and that it should be done card face up.

-Nathan

5 Apr 2006 - 12:03pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> How about a card reader where the card doesn't need to be inserted at
> all? Use the same magnetic reader mechanism, but have it exposed flat
> on the ATM.
>
> A user could just lay the card, stripe down on the reader. The
> indentation of where to lay the card would show how the card should
> be oriented and that it should be done card face up.

Cool idea. In fact, there's a line of self-check machines for libraries that
works like this, so you might be on to something.

-r-

5 Apr 2006 - 12:58pm
Jeff Howard
2004

> Nathan Kendrick wrote:
> 25%? Okay, I'll bite. The best math I could figure out is 50%.

1. correctly oriented
2. rotated 180 degrees
3. upside-down
4. upside down and rotated

> How about a card reader where the card doesn't need to be inserted at all?

Mastercard's Paypass is a good example of that, using RFID in addition to the normal magnetic
strip. I wonder if that actually increases the potential for error... people who aren't familiar with
the concept of the "landing zone" touching their card to things that aren't proximity aware.
Anyone experimented with RFID payment?

// jeff

Syndicate content Get the feed