Accessible ATM : Automated teller machines usability designed for diverse human factors to be used by people with disabilities
Diebold's Dave Barker works to make Diebold products more accessible for people with disabilities.
Barker is a principal strategist specializing in human factors for Diebold, one of the world's largest manufacturers of automated teller machines (ATMs). As a member of Diebold's industrial design team, Barker's role is to ensure Diebold products are accessible to people of all abilities.
"Many people don't realize industrial design focuses as much on the usability of products as it does on the appearance of those products," Barker said. "Our industrial design team works to make sure all people, regardless of their abilities, can easily use Diebold products. That's why we pay so much attention to human factors and accessibility."
Before Diebold launched its new Opteva family of ATMs in 2003, Barker and the entire design team worked closely with representatives from the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). The goal of the collaboration was to ensure that people who are blind would be able to easily and comfortably use the machines. Barker said organizations like the NFB are crucial to design decisions.
"Of course, achieving total compliance with all global regulatory standards is where we start, but Diebold goes even further by striving to make our products 'best in class' for accessibility," Barker said. "We test the usability of our products with users with differing abilities and disabilities, including the NFB. User testing isn't required by law, but we feel it's a better way to gain design insights that, in turn, make our products more accessible and usable."
Diebold's Opteva products are the most accessible in the industry. Through its work with organizations like the NFB, Diebold has the opportunity to incorporate design elements that ensure accessibility. During product testing for the Opteva line, it was members of the NFB who suggested the location of the audio jack that enables those who are blind to use headphones and voice guidance at the ATM. This important feature is now conveniently placed on the same plane as the keypad and comes standard on all Diebold Opteva products.
Ann Taylor, manager of technology for the NFB, said ATM accessibility is extremely important to the blind community.
"For many banking transactions, we choose the ATM over the bank teller, so it is important for manufacturers to work with organizations like the NFB," Taylor said. "Organizations of the blind can give manufacturers direct access to blind consumers during the evaluation and testing of new products. The NFB employs expert technology specialists who are blind, have an extensive knowledge of nonvisual access technology and represent the wishes and concerns of the blind community when they test equipment."
Opteva, Diebold's newest self-service terminals, are superior to legacy equipment in accessibility for sight-impaired users, and they are the only machines in the industry to be endorsed by the NFB. Features include:
And while only nine percent of the blind population reads Braille, Diebold provides Braille signage options on all units.
According to the NFB's findings, those who tested the Opteva machines preferred the raised keys and the tactile feedback the keys provided when used. Testers also liked the click heard when the card was accepted into the machines' motorized readers; this audio feedback is a positive sound that gives sight-impaired users confidence that the machine is working properly. NFB representatives also provided positive feedback about the consistent design from model to model.
Barker said the goal of the industrial design team is to collaborate with more organizations like the NFB. And as the global population ages, he said the team is working to make products more user-friendly for the elderly. Future products will continue to incorporate more features as Diebold's innovative design ideas evolve.
"We're trying to make the best products out there and products that are easy for all people to use, without compromising the needs of any of the users," Barker said. "Our directive is to go above and beyond. And that's what we're here to do."
Diebold provides integrated self-service delivery systems, security, and services.
|November 25, 2004||© Yenra ®|