PC Week 3_Interaction design systems in public

Walmart self checkout

What do you think is the biggest pain point for Walmart’s self checkout system? ……
Correct, ‘Theft!’ It’s relatively easy to scam its simple system of barcode scan and item weight correlation program.There a tons of articles online offering a bouquet of strategies on scamming the self checkout system.

I went to walmart yesterday to experience it firsthand. There are several loopholes in the system and the overall UX seems very scattered. Each item took several minutes to scan and reflect in the shopping cart. This caused a lot of confusion especially while scanning multiple items at once. There is always the fear that you are scanning the same item multiple times and paying double. the whole interface needs to be organised and prioritised. Somehow our machine did not have audio assistance which made things worse. Some items did not even have a barcode and it’s no fun to spend 5 minutes figuring out the item number, bagging it and the machine reverts back with : “Unexpected item in bagging area. Remove item.”

The whole self checkout system UX sure had me thinking of ways to scam it in revenge!


If I were to relook at the fantasy device as a self checkout system I would envision a simple system with minimal UI. It would simply be a large, weight sensitive table, perhaps like the Microsoft surface table on which you lay out all your items. A camera on top scans barcode/product images to correlate with the measured weight and send the items for bagging automatically.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s