Friday Funny: the evil gas pump
My friend Bill wrote,
In our class, you told an amusing story relating to poorly designed user interfaces. The example you used was pay-at-the-pump card readers, where the user has to interpret some convoluted diagram to insert the credit card properly, so that the mag-strip is read.
I pulled into a gas station today and sure enough the pump had the exact card reader technology you described. But, my purchase experience was not without the required dissatisfaction. I accidentally selected the wrong fuel grade. On every gas pump I use, the grade choices are listed sequentially from left-to-right from lowest to highest octane. Not this pump, this pump had the choices in the exact opposite order: far left was highest octane, instead of economy, which I wanted to purchase. I selected high octane by mistake.
I wonder sometimes if stuff like this is poor design and/or poor implementation--or if it's a trick to sell more premium gas. The left pump is always the cheapest; it's a de facto standard. And now you feel cheated. This thinking got them an extra $1 this time but you'll never return to this station so they lost a customer for lifetime.
Looking for the latest in product and data science? Get our articles, webinars and podcasts.