I with my team are working on redesigning the UX/UI of ATM machines to make them easy to use for non-tech and illiterate people. We conducted a survey to figure out where the problem lies and we found out that people of the above-mentioned category were having difficulties in interacting with GUI of ATM.

The question is what modifications we can make in GUI to make it usable for non-tech and illiterate people?

closed as too broad by JonW Apr 23 '17 at 23:14

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  • 2
    Did the users you surveyed indicate exactly what they had trouble with when using the ATMs? – HorusKol Apr 23 '17 at 15:42
  • If you're gonna redesign ATMs please make them faster. I don't know why it is, but even for offline tasks like identifying the kind of card (so no network-related delay here) some of them take a good 5 seconds before prompting you for the PIN. It almost feels like the UI is what takes so long to load. – André Borie Apr 23 '17 at 22:09

I think the crucial question to ask is if you are sure you resolve a real problem. This is necessary, as I have never had any problems using ATMs, even not knowing the language, no matter what the visual details of the interface were.

At the same time, there are several things you will need to deal with, and only some of these are User related. I think the most complications come from the dependencies:

  • hardware dependency - a lot of the devices the interface is going to be used on will not be possible to be exchanged for new, probably, so do not build any interactions that would not work on them,

  • hardware diversity - it becomes even more challenging as the devices you will need to design for were installed over years - probably by various suppliers, based on various contracts signed with them. The devices may have various computing possibilities, interfaces with or without buttons, display types, touch screens with the touch layer placed high above or just above the display, sound, and probably many, many more.

  • (maybe) supplier/support dependency - those suppliers may have some contracts signed with the bank, that regulates their support level. Introducing a new UI may trigger a legal/contract hell.

  • legacy OS - AFAIK, until not long ago a lot of ATMs ran a special build of Windows XP and there was a problem with the end of support from Microsoft for this system. You need to check this before you make any decisions, as the under-the-hood system constraints may go all the way up to the interface you design,

  • regulations (including internal ones) - another important aspect of implementing a new UI as the bank may have their own (hard-to-impossible to change) standards regarding colours, fonts, or "safe technologies" (e.g. one browser may be considered "safe" while another one "not safe" - which may be either reasonable or not),

Regarding Users, I would definitely focus on these three:

  • Consistency with existing standars - remember that whatever you do to make things more intuitive, if you disrupt the things that Users have already become accustomed to, they will find it less intuitive instead. So you need to be careful with your decisions. A hard but good path might be introducing some changes gradually (over months or even: years) to make sure Users become accustomed to them.

  • supporting international Users - which is easier if you follow the standard conventions for the ATM's.

  • accessibility - providing an alternative way of navigation for the Users with disabilities (e.g. audio support - which may affect security, as everyone around can hear it unless there are headphones jacks built into the ATMs, where you face the aforementioned device dependency).

These are only some of the things to consider that are at the top of my head, probably they will explode to dozens.

To sum it up, changing the interface for ATM's is a really big challenge, with a lot of dependencies and a need to seriously research what is possible within the existing hardware/software/legal architecture. Hence, you may find yourself being limited to making only some visual improvements.


Fundamentally, I think you need an animation showing what to do for each stage like you might get at self-service checkout points in supermarkets (and possibly small glyphs on all the buttons).

Next, I'd recommend that you add voice narration for each stage (again, like the self-service checkout points) because in my experience, when someone who is non-tech is trying to use technology, they say they find it easier when guided by a human voice.

Finally, you could try adding a help button in the corner that will explain in more detail (with narration and on-screen text) what to do at each step.

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