Project #1



Part 1: Exploration & Observation

Rhys Saraceni & Liz Diestler

1. The location of the coffee vending machine is in the Georgia Tech Student Center next to the Package Pick Up window within the Post Office area. The space gets a lot of foot traffic, but it is also within 100 yards of the Einstein Bros Starbucks and the food court that serves coffee. There is usually a line for the Post Office, so it’s a space with a lot of foot traffic. People who walk by this area and are not using the post office are usually hurrying to somewhere to eat or to another class. The Coffee Machine is in a somewhat awkward position for someone who wishes to get a nice, hot beverage. Especially for first-time users, it may be a bit embarrassing to try to use this machine with so many people around. People in line for the post office could easily watch someone trying to use the coffee machine which creates more pressure for the user.

2. My first interaction with the machine was a bit reluctant, as I enjoy the experience of visiting a coffee shop and interacting with the person making my coffee. I was surprised at the amount of drink options available from the machine and the condiment options it was also capable of. The only confusing part about it to me was the Whitener option (subtitled Leche) and the size options, because there aren’t true-to-size photos or subtitles for “small” or “large” so it’s a guess on how big the cups are.

3. See images taken of machine.

4. Observed 9 people. Many people had trouble pressing the condiment buttons and felt compelled to press them multiple times to receive their drink. Also, there is not sufficient feedback once the users select the size (also the Start button) because the starting phase is not immediate. The machine makes a slight whirring noise as it begins to make your coffee, but the users do not see the paper cup immediately fall into place, leading them to Press Start several more times before they realize their coffee has started being made.

5. Step 1: Insert payment(coin, bills, buzz card), Step 2: Select Drink Type, Step 3: Choose Optional Condiments, Step 4: Press Size (this begins process), Step 5: Take drink and change.

6. Possibilities for error could include pressing the incorrect size. Maybe if a small size is selected by accident, the user cannot change the size. There is no way for the user to know how large the sizes are that are presented to them.

7. The closest alternatives to using this machine would be to purchase a canned coffee from Burdells, walk a little farther and get a coffee from the Starbucks Kiosk near Einstein Bros. Bagels, purchase a coffee from Einstein Bros. Bagels, or to walk to the cafeteria one floor up and purchase a coffee from there.


9. See sketchbook for storyboards.

10. Possible improvements I suggest would be to re-label the “Whitener” option to something like “Cream” or “Milk” and design new icons for it. Currently, the icons look like squares and overlapping squares for a higher quantity. Also, it is suggested that the sizes be represented better, either having a reference picture to depict what kind of quantity it holds or even just listing how many ounces it holds. There are only two ambiguous cup icons. A friendlier user interface would also be more helpful to first-time users. It is presently black and cluttered. Something more spaced out with a clear flow of use mapped out is suggested. Improvement to the feedback of the start button could be made.


Ideas to improve coffee vending machine:

automated compliments
temperature gauge
screen with info about drinks
rewards program ***
frequent user ***
remembers ID
random prizes
recyclable sleeves
plastic bags for bulk orders
extra service options
cream & sugar to go
seals coffee to go
buttons on menu for extra info
size description
size comparison
life-size cup images
gut-height retrieval
better coin tray
mobile coffee stand
input for recommendation generator ***
touch screen
custom mixes available
make-a-drink ***
a-la-carte style ***
separate dispensing for coffee and espresso drinks
horizontal based machine
built in counter
drink assembly line ***
conveyor belt
pastry case
restocked machine daily
corkboard for community fliers ***
bar on back ***
newspaper dispenser
recycling box
warm aesthetic
welcoming palette
pay at the end ***
feedback noise
brewed coffee on end for speed
facebook compatibility ***
drink requests based on friends’ past orders
point system
cup discount


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