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?
- deposit an allowance, or other earnings
- withdrawal money for approved purchases
- teachable moments regarding money management
- the feeling of maturity, positive feelings of independence, and an overall strengthened sense of self
What are some constraints that must be considered when designing an ATM that serves a 5 to 12-year-old child?
- understanding financial terms (deposit, withdrawal, etc.)
- physical height of the ATM
- approval/limitations of certain ATM activities, such as during withdrawals
- remembering a pin number/retrieving physical card from the slot
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.
- CTA buttons would be large to support motor skills
- Images and strategic colors would be integrated to support text
- Technical language such as “deposit” would be substituted for age appropriate terms like “in” and would also include supporting images/symbols
- The ATM would be installed in such a way that the structure around it would be built with a cement step for users who need a boost
- There could be an option to enter in a card-less code sent to an authorized guardian’s cell phone to use instead of a physical card
- Parents can place certain controls on the account through working with the bank
- Memory of pin number could be resolved through speaking with a parent or the bank (the idea is to not bypass all opportunities for responsibility so that we are still aligned with the goals of the ATM)
- In empathizing with the feelings and thoughts of child in this age range, they respond well to positive affirmation, so encouraging messages following an action such as inserting money into savings would be appropriate
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.
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.