The development of a computer human interface using touch input for point of sale applications : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Technology in Product Development at Massey University
This project developed a touch screen interface for a new generation EFTPOS sales terminal at the fuel pump in a service station. Scenario plans and creative observation of consumers and analysis of their expressed needs, wants, and requirements were developed within the context of the client's specifications. This enabled the production of a physical and graphical user interface that provided initial appeal, ease of learning, high speed of user task performance, low user error rate, subjective user satisfaction, and user retention over time. Using multimedia computer software as a rapid prototyping tool enabled realistic feedback to be obtained early in the development stages and facilitated the modification of prototypes to minimise the barriers to potential consumer acceptance. The designer was able to effectively communicate the goals and details of the product to the team implementing the design using flow charts and diagrams to define the structure and content of the interface. The process used to develop the interface was compared with published product development techniques that incorporated consumer testing checkpoints throughout the discrete phases of product creation. It was determined that the generic processes were useful in practice, but only if the checkpoints were chosen appropriately and the tests customised for the developing product. Testing at fixed stages in the design process was found to be detrimental to the project. Putting excessive emphasis on the testing of the product curbed creativity by removing valid solutions before they could be investigated fully. The touch screen interface developed will be used to lead customers through fuel deliveries, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) transactions, and the purchase of other service station related products and services. The interface allows incorporation of advertising and customisation for use in other countries, meets the company's specifications, and has polled well in consumer tests when incorporated in a simulated mounting.