ATM for Kids: A Rapid Design Thinking Exercise

We have been instructed to develop an ATM for children while applying the framework of Design Thinking to guide the process. Proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, the process of Design Thinking involves 5 stages: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test.


Empathy is crucial in the development of any human-centered product — here, we put ourselves in the shoes of our younger counterparts and their feelings, thoughts, behaviors, and needs to gain direction toward valid solutions for them.

Considering a child’s development of fine motor skills and the necessity of touch screen interaction with a degree of precision, along with cognitive development and the ability to understand the basic concepts of money/literacy, I think the age range for users of this ATM would be roughly 5–12.

So, why would a child between the ages of 5 and 12 benefit from access to an ATM?

What are some constraints that must be considered when designing an ATM that serves a 5 to 12-year-old child?


Now equipped with a greater understanding of target users, it’s time to clarify the details, establish features, functions, and any other elements that will allow children to use this ATM.


Now that we’ve clarified some pertinent information, it’s time to generate some design ideas through sketching, wireframes, or UI designs.

Here is my very rough sketch of the ATM Machine and a few of its interfaces:

Prototyping and Testing

Here are a few more detailed wireframes with some refinement:

Prototyping and testing involves user testing, valuable feedback, and likely, continuous iteration.

Closing Thoughts

I truly value the way the Design Thinking framework places user needs at the center of building a product, really aiming to develop a solid solution for them. This project was very quickly done, with much to expand upon if I desired to, but it was valuable to see how this methodology can accomplish great things in the design world.