Part of the Brighton Digital Festival involves encouraging design and development studios to open their doors for an afternoon. One of these studios was Ribot Ltd who are fast becoming our User Experience consultants of choice.
The afternoon involved talks from the team. Highlights included an application for a chain of coffee stores where users could check-in before arrival and pre-pay. The barista has a screen with your photo, name, and 'usual' coffee.
Focus on the experience: As the transaction is less around the taking of money it means that it becomes more like a chat. Conversations were more about 'how are you, and what have you been up to?'. I liked that the technology was an enabler of the desired user experience rather than the be-all-and-end-all.
Plan for failure: each step of the process had a fallback script/process so that the barista could fail gracefully rather than simply say, "computer says no".