Wells Fargo ATMs: an example of usability

It’s not only that they speak many languages. Or that you can make envelope-free deposits in them now. The single most impressive feature I’ve found on Wells Fargo ATMs recently was that they are sensitive to  your most recent (or common) transactions.

Say you normally go to the ATM to withdraw $80 for weekly meals or to deposit a check. Now, on the screen where you are prompted for your PIN, instead of only letting you enter the 4-digit number (as shown above), you are presented with that VERY option directly, so you can skip the selection process altogether which typically followed once you hit the green OK button.

Not only that, it remembers preferences such as whether you wanted or not a receipt, or whether you wanted the scanned version of any deposited checks or not… THIS is an amazing example of usability! Plus it shaves about 20-30 seconds of time at the ATM for each customer that uses this convenient feature.

Update (Jan. 31, 2011): thanks to Wells Fargo for sending a screenshot showing the above capabilities. I am even more impressed with you guys having spotted the blog post AND taken action about it!

Buried: blown away!

Those who know me know that I am not a big fan of suspense thrillers. I mean… I LOVED Sixth Sense (in spite of the fact that my friend Gilberto spoiled it for me by telling the end :D) and I’ve highly enjoyed movies like The Shining. But you won’t see this kind of movie too often on my Netflix queue.

Then Chris Sparling, the husband of Kerri Sparling, wrote Buried. Being the sissy that I am with “this kind of movie” I had avoided going to see it in the theater. But when it became available on Netflix, I put it at the top of my queue. 🙂

We watched it last night and we were BLOWN AWAY! To begin with, the script is simply brilliant! Chris touched on multiple social aspects that are highly relevant to our time: the war and its impact on the lives of people in the US and overseas; corporate mis-behavior, trying to avoid embarrassment due to stories leaking in the media, to name just a couple. The script is the top thing that rocks about the movie (and I don’t say this because I know Chris).

Ryan Reynolds is the second thing that made the movie what it was. I can’t say I was a big fan of his previous movies (I was indifferent to most of them) but I was really impressed with his role in this movie. He is practically the only person on screen the entire movie and all scenes take place inside a coffin. When you see the special features, you realize how physically and emotionally demanding the shooting was on Reynolds!

Last, the photography and overall directing of the movie was incredible too. The constraints imposed by the “set” make it a true triumph to come up with the beautiful lighting that consistently prevails throughout the multiple shots. Then, the shots from multiple angles that help with the storytelling, made possible by having seven different coffins that were used for different types of shots… in short, for such a constraining medium to bring Chris’ story to life, director Rodrigo Cortes did an incredible job!

According to IMDB, the next screenplay by Chris (titled ATM) is scheduled to be released later in 2011. I am looking forward to seeing it!