NCR KIOSK design for people with visual impairments 

2019

Our aim was to redesign grocery store self-checkout kiosks for NCR to make them accessible to individuals with visual impairments. We designed a universal system that enables users to locate products in grocery stores, scan products to obtain more information, create shopping lists and check out by using the self-checkout kiosk in a few simple steps!  

Duration: 4 months

MY ROLE

UX/UI Design, UX Research, Accessibility Issues, Universal Design

TOOLS

Figma, Photoshop, Illustrator

 

PROBLEM 

People with visual impairments make up a considerable amount of the world’s population. The World Health Organization states that even today, approximately 1.3 billion people live with a form of visual impairment in the world and 10 million people in the United States are blind or visually impaired. Hence, products that we design should also be accessible to this large population.

Researchers suggest that in the year 2050, people with visual impairments or blindness in the United States are expected to double to more than 8 million

Current NCR self-checkout kiosks don't offer many accessibility features for individuals with visual impairments. Texts on the screen and the color contrast do not meet with accessibility standards and can't be customized by the user. Even though it provides a screen reader option and a special keypad UNav, it is not possible for users to read every option on-screen and efficiently use the keypad.

Our aim was to revise the interface of the kiosk and implement accessibility features to SS90 self-checkout kiosks for people with visual impairments, helping to empower these users to complete everyday tasks without the assistance of another person.

Project Timeline Overview

EXISTING PRODUCTS 

 

To understand the needs of the user we made extensive research about the products that people with visual impairments use. Furthermore, we searched for various accessibility standards (ADA, WCAG 2.1) and analyzed the kiosks including SS90 NCR kiosk according to these guidelines. Unfortunately, many of the products were not successful.

Examples of Accessibility Issues

Customizability 

The customizability of various factors like texts, colors, and brightness can accommodate various visual impairments. Unfortunately, many of the products do not provide this feature.

Brightness

Some people with visual impairments may have a sensitivity to light while others may read better on a screen with high brightness. Regardless, brightness is an important factor.

Contrast

Accessibility guidelines suggest that a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 should exist between a text and its background. Contrast also should be customizable. 

USER RESEARCH

 

To understand our users better we conducted multiple research activities. A few questions that we wanted to answer as follows: 

How does the current kiosk system work? 

How do our users utilize assistive technologies? Is there a common preference for a feature?

How do our users use the current self check out kiosks? What are the challenges?

Interviews and Observations

As a first step, we decided to go to NCR Headquarters to observe the users as they are interacting with two types of kiosks. Our main aim was to be familiar with physical and digital design. This stage helped us to define the problems which were cumbersome even for people with normal or corrected vision.

We had a chance to observe one visually impaired participants when he is using his phone to do online shopping.  Even though it was not directly related to kiosk experience, it was really insightful. We could see how a simple task can be so hard for them when individuals are not assisted with the required technologies. 

After we got a general idea, we started our interviews. We have conducted interviews with 2 visually impaired and 10 NCR employees. Interviews helped us to understand several important questions;

  • How normal or corrected visioned users use the self check out kiosks and what are their thoughts and experiences?

  • Do people with visual impairments use the self check out kiosks?

  • What type of assistive technologies they usually use? Which ones would increase their usage of self-checkout kiosks if implemented?

  • Advantages and disadvantages of the assistive technologies that they use?

Surveys

In order to reach as many people as possible, we created an online survey for people with visual impairments, their loved ones, and professionals who works in this field then distributed it to online forums and platforms. The survey aims to uncover the thoughts of the people regarding to self-checkout kiosks in grocery stores. Furthermore, questions that ask about their preferences in assistive technologies gave an idea about which assistive features to include in our design.

We decided to create the survey by using Qualtrics because it was providing better accessibility features. We got 37 responses!

next steps...

  • Overview of Results

  • Understanding Users

  • Design Alternatives

  • User Testing

  • Final Design

  • User Testing

  • Reflection