Urbanized life has brought many conveniences to people, especially that theaters, bars, large hotels, restaurants and other cultural and entertainment venues, as well as large shopping malls are just within reach. Then again, it seems that traditional manual sales methods are not in line with people’s current shopping habits. The good news is that people know how to adapt. And with the increased demand for convenient and easy shopping, elegant, practical, and interesting vending machines have begun to attract attention.
Self-service vending machines are now being used to serve modern fast-paced people, who currently have a need for nutrition, taste, and convenience. But we cannot deny the fact that the traditional sales method still exists, where business owners prefer to open a physical store.
Although these existing physical stores offer various styles, grades, and options to customers and meet their needs, they still have disadvantages, such as low efficiency, tight seat, and long distance. In addition, if customers want to eat delicious, tasty, and temperature-appropriate meals at a certain time, traditional physical stores can’t provide them on the spot.
In addition, if the customer is transiting on the road or if the time is urgently needed to solve the problem of eating quickly, even if the physical fast food restaurant is selected nearby, the demand for immediate meal cannot be satisfied. In response to this problem, it is urgent to design a vending machine that can be placed in crowded places such as office buildings, industrial parks, stations, terminals, and commercial circles to meet the needs of diners for convenient and fast dining.
The Vending Machine Design Process
The general process observed for designing vending machines include the following:
- The organization of user groups
- Setting of user tasks
- Making a UD matrix based on user groups and user tasks
- Use a UD matrix to construct design points
- Comprehensive design based on design points
- Perform a sharing evaluation of the design plan
Intelligent Vending Machines
1. After the user makes a selection, the vending machine program will initiate a payment request QR code (WeChat, Alipay or other electronic payment) to the backend server. This QR code will then be displayed directly on the vending machine display.
2. After the customer scans the code, the backend server will check whether the payment account has received the payment. If it is received, the backend server will issue shipping instructions to the vending machine, and the vending machine will ship according to the instruction.
An intelligent vending machine has many functions and the principle is very complicated. Some do not need to pay according to the input picking code. The concept is that the customer inputs the picking code or the lottery code. Next, the vending machine sends the picking And the backend server picks up the goods. The code is verified next, and the corresponding shipping instructions are sent to the vending machine. Finally, the vending machine dispenses the corresponding item and does what is specified in the instructions.
The working principles and concepts of modern-day vending machines are basically similar. However, it is worth noting that there are more and more intelligent vending machines being released on the market. Well, it’s nothing surprising because after all, it is more convenient to use mobile phones to scan codes and shop for goods.
User Task Settings
Based on the analysis of the use process, structure function, and the use environment of the vending machine, the user task model of the vending machine can be summarized into basic tasks and individual tasks.
The basic task model of the user can be summarized into the following stages:
(1) preparing to start the work,
(2) getting information,
(7) and ending of the work.
The user’s individual task model can be obtained by further refinement of the user’s basic task model:
(1) Finding and identifying vending machines;
(2) View the working status of the vending machine;
(3) Observing the types, prices, and sales of goods sold;
(4) looking for the coin slot; input currency;
(5) Click the selection button corresponding to the item to be purchased;
(6) The vending machine is shipped, the pick-up port baffle is pushed open, and the goods are taken out at the pick-up port;
(7) Find the machine, find the change, and take out the remaining coins at the zero position;
(8) End shopping and leave.
User Group Finishing
The goal of sharing the entire vending machine design principle is to have more technologies that meet the needs of all people and reach a society that is completely fair and caring. But under normal conditions, it is very difficult to do, especially in the absence of ideals, hard work, and direction.
In fact, it is impossible for any product to satisfy all users, because there are some people with severe physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities, who are unable to use certain products, including vending machines.
As can be seen from the shared design pyramid, people with severe dysfunction need special facilities or special designs to make their lives better. With this shared design, the use of product can be maximized, not only to a specific vulnerable group.
The focus of a shared design is put on groups that have certain behavioral abilities and have a common intersection with the general population. With this vending machine shared design, not only the general population can benefit, but also the visually-impaired and hearing-impaired people, the upper limb-disabled persons, the lower limb-disabled persons, the elderly, women, the children, and the like.