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!

YouTube ads: An Intrusive user experience!

After I saw the video of Michael Jackson’s daughter crying at his memorial today, I saw this:

What is wrong with this picture? At least a couple things!
1) From a human standpoint, I find it pretty insulting how commercialized things have become around MJ after his death. There are not 2 but 3 ads appearing in the end frame for this video of his daughter crying her dad’s death…
2) You can’t get rid of the ads to be able to click on the video that is sitting directly behind them. So, they are killing the user experience to make a buck, basically. Reminds me of the popups of the early days…

Why User Experience Rules!

As I was reading the “Ten principles that contribute to a Googley user experience“, I thought I’d share a fantastic book that I read during the trip to Boston last week. It was the result of the effort of four members of the Adaptive Path crew in SF and it’s titled “Subject To Change“.

If you are into user experience design at all you MUST read this book. They do a phenomenal job at establishing a framework for the creation of products and services that are resilient in the midst of today’s changing and uncertain world. Get a copy so you can see for yourself.