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Magnetic Strips

Stripped of physical detail and technological assumptions, the essential use case for this task presents a simpler process: customer identifies self, system offers choices, user selects, system gives money, and user takes it. This description covers a lot more possibilities for the user interface design. It opens the way to a variety of media for offering choices to the user and for user selection, including touch-screen or voice response. It highlights that the ATM card and PIN are nonessential; their essential purpose is simply to identify the user. Thumbprints, iris scans, voice recognition, and badge readers might be workable alternatives in some cases. The essential model leaves open more possibilities, making it more likely that portions of any resulting design will be reusable when assumptions and conditions change.

This essential use case also paves the way to simpler interfaces by high-lighting the real heart of the matter to the user: getting the cash, the most common ATM transaction. Most users habitually take the same amount from the same account time after time. The first choice offered by the system could be this user's default, culled from past history: “The usual $250.00 from Regular Checking, Mr. Chatworth?” Or whatever.


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