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Contextual Design for

November 2
a Self-Checkout 2008

System
Esther Ariarasah
Karla Arosemena Project 2
Edgar Nuñez
Table of Contents
1. Contextual Inquiry.......................................................................................................................... 1

1.1. Observations ........................................................................................................................... 1

1.1.1. Sales Associate ................................................................................................................. 1

1.1.2. Department Manager ..................................................................................................... 2

1.1.3. Customers ....................................................................................................................... 2

1.2. Accessibility issues ................................................................................................................. 2

1.3. User Profiles ........................................................................................................................... 4

1.3.1. Customers Profile ........................................................................................................... 4

1.3.2. Organization – Users Profile .......................................................................................... 4

2. Work Models ................................................................................................................................. 6

2.1. Work Models - Juan Edgar Nunez......................................................................................... 6

2.1.1. Flow Models.................................................................................................................... 6

2.1.2. Sequence Models ...........................................................................................................10

2.1.3. Artifact Models .............................................................................................................. 13

2.1.4. Cultural Model ..............................................................................................................19

2.1.5. Physical Model ............................................................................................................. 20

2.2. Work Models – Karla Arosemena ....................................................................................... 22

2.2.1. Flow Models.................................................................................................................. 22

2.2.2. Sequence Model ........................................................................................................... 24

2.2.3. Artifact Model .............................................................................................................. 26

2.2.4. Cultural Model .............................................................................................................. 31

2.2.5. Physical Model ............................................................................................................. 32

2.3. Work Models – Esther Ariarasah ........................................................................................ 33

2.3.1. Flow Models.................................................................................................................. 33

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2.3.2. Sequence Models .......................................................................................................... 36

2.3.3. Artifact Models .............................................................................................................. 41

2.3.4. Cultural Models ............................................................................................................ 44

2.3.5. Physical Model ............................................................................................................. 47

3. Interpretation Session ................................................................................................................. 48

3.1. Affinity Diagrams ................................................................................................................. 48

3.2. Consolidation ....................................................................................................................... 56

3.2.1. Consolidating Flow Models ......................................................................................... 56

3.2.2. Consolidating Sequence Models .................................................................................. 60

3.2.3. Consolidating Artifact Models ..................................................................................... 64

3.2.4. Consolidating Physical Models .................................................................................... 66

3.2.5. Consolidating Cultural Model ..................................................................................... 67

4. Work Redesign ............................................................................................................................ 68

4.1. Improvements in the aspect of transactions....................................................................... 68

4.2. Vision .................................................................................................................................... 72

4.3. Storyboards .......................................................................................................................... 73

5. System Design - User Environment Design (UED) .................................................................... 79

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Table of Figures

Figure 1. Flow Model for Store Manager............................................................................................... 6


Figure 2. Flow Model for Department Manager .................................................................................. 7
Figure 3. Flow Model for Sales Associate. ............................................................................................ 8
Figure 4. Flow Model for Customer ...................................................................................................... 9
Figure 5. Sequence Model for Department Manager. .........................................................................10
Figure 6. Sequence Model for a Sales Associate................................................................................. 11
Figure 7. Sequence Model for a Customer .......................................................................................... 12
Figure 8. Discount Coupon. ................................................................................................................. 13
Figure 9. Rewards Program registration.............................................................................................. 15
Figure 10. Receipt. ................................................................................................................................16
Figure 11. Credit Card. .......................................................................................................................... 17
Figure 12. Cultural Model. ....................................................................................................................19
Figure 13. Physical Model. ................................................................................................................... 20
Figure 14. Flow Model for Customer U3. ............................................................................................ 22
Figure 15. Flow Model for Sales Associate U6. ................................................................................... 23
Figure 16. Sequence Model for buying an item – Customer point of view ...................................... 24
Figure 17. Sequence Model for buying an item - Sales Associate point of view. ............................... 25
Figure 18. Checkout area. .................................................................................................................... 26
Figure 19. Gift Card example. Source:www.rwsinfo.com/rws_poswin.html ..................................... 26
Figure 20. POS System. Source: http://www.quad.de/GB/IBM_SurePOS_543_pic7.jpg ................. 27
Figure 21. Coupon Discount Example. Source: www.goodexperience.com/tib/archives/misc/ ...... 28
Figure 22. Price Tag Information. ....................................................................................................... 29
Figure 23. Merchandise on Hold Receipt. Source: http://nordictracksucks.net/images/receipt.jpg
.............................................................................................................................................................. 30
Figure 24. Cultural Model. ................................................................................................................... 31
Figure 25. Physical Model. ................................................................................................................. 32
Figure 26. Flow Model for a Customer ............................................................................................... 33
Figure 27. Flow model for a Sales Associate ....................................................................................... 34

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Figure 28. Flow Model for a Department Manager ........................................................................... 35
Figure 29. Sequence model for a customer purchasing an item ....................................................... 36
Figure 30. Sequence model for a customer exchanging an item ....................................................... 37
Figure 31. Sequence Model for a sales associate handling a transaction for a customer .................. 38
Figure 32. Sequence model for a sales associate for scanning new items into the system ............... 39
Figure 33. Sequence model for a department manager for updating an item .................................. 40
Figure 34 Artifact model of a checkout station ................................................................................... 41
Figure 35. Artifact model of a discount coupon ................................................................................. 42
Figure 36. Artifact model of a receipt which a customer gets when they purchase items. .............. 43
Figure 37. Cultural Model of the department store from the point of view of a customer .............. 44
Figure 38. Cultural Model of the department store from the point of view of a Sales associate ..... 45
Figure 39. Cultural Model of the department store from the point of view of a Department
Manager ............................................................................................................................................... 46
Figure 40. Physical model of a department store .............................................................................. 47
Figure 41. Sales Associate Affinity Diagram. ...................................................................................... 49
Figure 42. Sales Associate Affinity Diagram (continuation). ............................................................ 50
Figure 43. Sales Associate Affinity Diagram (continuation 2). .......................................................... 51
Figure 44. Customer Affinity Diagram. ............................................................................................. 52
Figure 45. Customer Affinity Diagram (continuation). ..................................................................... 53
Figure 46. Department Manager Affinity Diagram. .......................................................................... 54
Figure 47. Department Manager Affinity Diagram (continuation)................................................... 55
Figure 48 Consolidated Flow Model................................................................................................... 59
Figure 49 Artifact Model Consolidated (Coupons + Gift Cards). ...................................................... 64
Figure 50. Artifact Model Consolidated (Receipts)........................................................................... 65
Figure 51. Artifacts Model not consolidated....................................................................................... 65
Figure 52. Physical Model Consolidated. ........................................................................................... 66
Figure 53 Consolidated Cultural Model ............................................................................................. 67
Figure 54 The vision of a department store ....................................................................................... 72
Figure 55 A Storyboard for the department store: a customer purchasing items ............................ 73
Figure 56 A Storyboard for the department store: a customer returning and item ......................... 75
Figure 57 A Storyboard for the department store: Department manager assisting a customer ...... 76

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Figure 58 A Storyboard for the department store: Sales associate adding a new item into the
system .................................................................................................................................................. 77
Figure 59 A Storyboard for the department store: Department manage adding a new discount for
an item ................................................................................................................................................. 78
Figure 60. User Environment Design. ............................................................................................... 79

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Contextual Design for a Self-Checkout
System
1. Contextual Inquiry

1.1. Observations
During the observation phase common, repetitive activities were identified, including greeting
customers, scanning items, looking up codes on a product scroll, payment processing and
bagging. Also, infrequent interactions such as employee assistance and manager interactions were
identified.

Some tasks related with the checkout process were captured. Here we introduce a summary of
the key findings from every stakeholder of the system.

1.1.1. Sales Associate


Specific tasks related with sales associate include:

Scanning or keying in price of purchases: if the item is not found in the system or the
bar code is not possible to read, the information should be input manually. If there is
not bar code or price tag, additional assistance is required. Normally, another sales
assistance look for another similar item with a price tag.
Receiving payment and making change: several payment options are accepted in most
department stores, namely check, credit and debit card, gift cards and cash. Discount
coupons may apply to some purchase according to store policies. These coupons have
a unique code, information about the offer, and expiration date if any. Gift cards also
have a code associated with their value.
Customer Service: customers may approach the checkout area to request help or
assistance, like product information/location, price, and size, among others.
Accepting returns and exchanges: the completion of this task may vary according to
store policies. Some items, like electronic devices, are subject to a period of devolution
after their purchase. In most of the time a receipt is required. When presenting the
receipt of purchases, the sales associate reviews the code of the item to

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return/exchange. He scans it, and the system displayed the receipt on the screen. If
the option is to return an item or exchange it for one of lesser value, a new receipt is
issued to the customer with the corresponding credit. If the option is to exchange for a
higher value item, the customer proceeds to pay the difference.
Bagging or wrapping purchases
Other duties might include stocking shelves

1.1.2. Department Manager


Specific tasks related with department managers include:

Manage Authorization: If discount information was not updated, or if an item’s


information needed to be updated in the system while a sales associate is processing a
customer’s transaction, a department manager gives authorization to the sales associate
process the item as well as update the item’s information.
Assist Customers with problems: Assist customers with finding items, or accept their
complaints and feedback about their shopping experience. Assist customers with any
other issues where a sales associate cannot assist with.
Manage store displays: Put up new displays in the department, organize merchandise.

1.1.3. Customers
Specific tasks performed by customers are:

Choose items to purchase: Customers place the items in the counter so that the sales
associate can scan them. While in the checkout, customers may decline to take items, and
leave them in the checkout area.
Pay items: several options are used, such as gift, store, credit and debit card, cash, and
coupons. Some customers may not be aware of the use of coupons and cards.
Request help or ask for assistance: (see customer service in sales assistant section).
Return or exchange items: customers may return items for

1.2. Accessibility issues


During the checkout process there was some accessibility issues observed:

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Actual checkout areas only accommodate standing users. Some other aspects that should
be considered are customers’ height (male and female) and condition (pregnant women,
people with permanent or temporal disabilities, low vision impairment, etc.).
Scanners should be placed within the work zone and the counter area to place items
should be as close as possible to the scanner. Scanners should be accurate enough to
reduce failed scans. In case of large/heavy items a handheld scanner should be
implemented.
A thoughtful placement and design of the bagging system should minimize lifting.
Actual checkout system doesn’t provide a display screen for users, just to the sales
associate. Checkout systems with touch-screen monitors offer a great flexibility for data
input. The graphic user interface plays an important role in usability since this can affect
considerably user performance.
Check out area should have a space reserved for items that customers decided not to buy.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) can be used as a security system to avoid shop
lifting.
Some specific considerations that should be taken into account in the interface design for
a self-checkout system are:
o Visual Aspects:
 Wide screen to accommodate the information properly. Most models
currently are between 15’’ (self-checkout used in grocery stores) and 17’’
(POS used by sales assistants).
 Use of icons and words.
 Capacity to enlarge size.
 Adjustable screen for angle and height.
 Animated images to explain how to use the equipment.
o Audio Feedback:
 To warn customers when they input wrong information.
 To guide customers during the checkout process.
o Proximity of components:
 Scanner, screen, card reader, cash acceptor should be reached by seated
users, children or short statured people.

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 The checkout station should provide easy access to right and left handed
people.
 Wheelchair accessibility to provide a knee space required for wheelchairs.

1.3. User Profiles

1.3.1. Customers Profile


U01: Sabrina Montero is a customer that recently moved to this area and is planning to go on a
snow skiing trip. She is looking for some apparel that will be appropriate for different aspects of
her trip. Sabrina is an international student native from Colombia and is still working in
perfecting her English speaking skills. This trip is organized by her school and it will give her
more exposure to native English speakers. For the moment she is more comfortable speaking in
Spanish.

U02: Donna Norman is middle aged woman who works at Thomas Inc as an assistant. She is
married and she lives in Rochester with her husband and her children. She works during
weekdays from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm and when she comes home she prepares meal for her family
and spends time with them. She loves to read books, surf the web, and most of all enjoy spending
time with her friends on Saturdays. She usually goes to various department stores with her friends
to window shop. She likes to look for clothes and household items.

U03: Michelle Simons considers herself as a frequent customer of department stores. She prefers
to shop in these stores because they offer a wide variety of clothing selections. Michelle often goes
shopping to get ideas even though she does not intend to buy, so most of the time she is aware of
every sale offered by them. Since she is working part time, she knows that sales are the best
option for her to save until she finishes her project and get a better job.

1.3.2. Organization – Users Profile


U04: William Scott is a seasoned college graduated administrator with a degree in finances and
more than 30 years in the store management business. He used to run his own store franchise and
have experience on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to customer service and store
finances, logistics and operations.

U05: Ashley Lew is a department manager and who has been managing departments for different
department stores in the last decade. She has an associate degree in fashion from North Lake

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Community College and has taken multiple continued education trainings in customer service,
logistics, and store management.

U06: Brenda Wagner isn't a typical department store manager. You won't find her behind a desk
giving orders to a team of sales associates of tallying profits on a computer screen. She's
enthusiastically greeting customers, helping them carry their selections to the dressing room and
thanking them for stopping by when they leave, even if they didn't buy a thing. She has been
working in a mid-scale department store for 10 years. During this time, she has learned that a
great customer service is an important factor in this business. Brenda is 45 years old.

U07: Carlos Cambroon is a sales associate who works as a cashier. He recently graduated from
High school and is attending the local community college. Carlos enjoys working with customers
and has a marked interest in different aspects of human interaction and how they relate to each
other and how they interact with computers. Carlos is a native Spanish speaker original from
Central America.

U08: Sally May is a full time sales associate in a local department store. She has been working as a
sales associate for past 11 years and she enjoys her job. She has helped many customers finding
items, doing transactions for customers, and assisting her manager. She is also responsible to
make sure that the items in her department are in proper order, scans any new incoming items
into the system and arrange them. She’s a kind approachable person and her colleagues think
highly of her. They think she’s a dedicated hard working and does her job promptly.

U09: Katie David is a department at the department store. She's a dedicated worker and she
enjoys working here. She’s a full-time worker who has been working at JCPenny for the past 10
years. She has helped many customers finding items, doing transactions for customers, and
assisting her manager. She is a kind approachable person and she’s always there when someone
needs help. She happily helps those who need assistance.

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2. Work Models
The following work models are the result of the contextual interviews conducted by each member
of this team.

2.1. Work Models - Juan Edgar Nunez

2.1.1. Flow Models

Figure 1. Flow Model for Store Manager

Figure 1 shows the flow model for a store manager. Most of the communication of dependence
and assistance takes place with the store manager. There is no direct communication with the
sales associate and the communication with the customer is very simple.

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Figure 2. Flow Model for Department Manager

Figure 2 shows the flow model for the Department Manager. This work has a central function and
acts as a hub for the other works.

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Figure 3. Flow Model for Sales Associate.

Figure 3 shows the flow model of the Sales associate work. Most of the communication happens
with the Department Manager. The communication with the customer is very simple.

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Figure 4. Flow Model for Customer

Figure 4 shows the flow model of Customer work. There is communication with those who assist
in the work and those who depend on the work. The task of the customer is very straight forward.

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2.1.2. Sequence Models

Figure 5. Sequence Model for Department Manager.

Figure 5 shows the sequence model for solving an issue. This sequence model shows how the
department manager proceeds to solve an issue. The sequence is triggered when an associate
calls.

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Figure 6. Sequence Model for a Sales Associate.

Figure 6 shows the sequence model for assisting a customer. This sequence model shows how a
sales associate goes though the process of assisting a customer when something goes wrong. The

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communication is mostly verbally except when the associate have to call the department
manager.

Figure 7. Sequence Model for a Customer

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Figure 7 shows the sequence model for purchasing an item. This sequence model shows how a
user proceeds to by an article on one specific occasion. The intent in displayed at the top left
“Purchase item”. The localized intent changes as the user moves through the tasks of the
sequence model. This is also depicted to the left at the appropriate step.

2.1.3. Artifact Models

Figure 8. Discount Coupon.

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Information Content: A customer finds the coupon in figure 8 in the JCPenney website and
decides to take advantage of it. He decides that s/he would rather go to the store instead of
shopping online. Once in the store he decides to by a Jacket that has a 55% off. Once at the
register, he hands the jacket and then this coupon to the sales associate. The associate examines
the coupon and recognize it by the logo and the program name. Since today is Friday Oct. 31ft he
ask the associate if he can all so get the additional $10 off. The associate explains that it requires
the customer to have a JCPenney credit card. However, since he does not have one he cannot get
this discount. The associate offers the JCPenny credit card but the customer is not interested in
yet another credit card. The associate scans barcode in the coupon and a discount of 55% is
applied to the price of the jacket.

Presentation: The artifact in figure 8 represents a store coupon. It is identified by the company
logo and a program name. Both are clearly displayed at the top of the coupon with big bold fonts.
The color of the fonts contracts with the dark background. This makes them more visible.
Pictures, description and intend discount is shown in separated squares with orange borders.
Additional discounts and applicable conditions appear in a red section bellow. In this section the
bar code is displayed and a section with very small letters explains special conditions for the use
of this coupon. The difficult to read letters some time causes disappointments and confusion
among customers.

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Figure 9. Rewards Program registration.

Information Content: A customer finishes a transaction. When ready to go s/he sees a banner
advertising the JCP rewards card. The banner was place in a visible spot next to register as
requested by the department manager. s/he decides to fill a form to apply for the card. The
information in the banner specifically directs the user on the steps required participate in the
program.

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The form collects the customer contact information and a credit card account to be associated
with the program. It also has a logo that identifies the brand of this program and pictures to
entice the customer’s imagination. The customer stops for a moment and imagines what s/he
would do with the derived benefits of the program. S/he finishes filling the contact and credit
card information and decides what password to use. Once the form is completed, s/he skims over
the Terms & Conditions and JCPenney privacy policy. Once do, s/he places the form in a
collecting box. This form can be found and submitted on-line, or physically or in the store.

Presentation: The artifact of Figure 9 represent the advertising banner and form to register in
the JCP rewards program. The colors and fonts used in the new JCP rewards logo are consistent
with JCPenney brand. It helps the customer establish the connection. Besides, the form also has
the JCPenney logo at the bottom. In the form, labels with a brief rationale for the information
requested separate the different sections of information required. The indispensable information
is differentiated from the optional with a red asterisk. The user is provided with the terms and
condition of the program as well as JCPenney privacy policy.

Figure 10. Receipt.

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Information Content: The information on this artifact constitutes the verification of a
transaction. The store is identified with a recognized logo. It serves as an authentication clue. The
name of the sales associate who processed the transaction. When the user returns to the store for
any issue related to this receipt s/he could ask for the specific associate who attended him
initially. Managers can also use this information for quality control and training or recognition
purposes. The list of items purchased in this transaction along with information of prices, the
nature of applied discounts and summary of total savings help the user evaluate the tangible
benefits of taking advantage of the promotions offered by this store for his purchases. When a
customer returns to the store with an issue with the merchandise or the transaction, the receipt
has a numeric ID to identify this transaction when the associate types it into the system. The bar
code in the receipt, equivalent to the numeric ID, can be scanned to minimize errors and improve
performance. If the user has forgotten the location of the store, the receipt displays the business
address at the bottom.

Presentation: Figure 10 shows the physical model of a receipt. The colors used in the store logo
are consistent with the advertised brand. That makes it easily recognizable by the users. All the
information elements in the structure of this artifact can stored in an information system and
easily accessed and retrieved when required. The information in this artifact is layout in a logical
top-down flow and it is presented in a non intrusive way, so all functional parts (like the bar code)
can be easily perceived and used. There is also grouping of chunks of information that is denoted
by blank lines between the chunks, for instance list of items and subtotal and then taxes and total
grouped separately.

Figure 11. Credit Card.

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Information Content: The information on this artifact reveals the card issuer, program, account
number, validity period, customer name, security code and affiliation. All these information is
also stored in the magnetic band on the back of the card. The information in this artifact can be
read and stored in the system and used as a valid payment instrument. Before the credit card is
scanned, a sales associate could ask the customer for a valid identification and compare it with
the user name on the card. This serves as a security mechanism. Similarly, the validity period
stated in the card allows an associate verify if this credit card is still valid. The account number
and the security code in front of the card are used in transactions where the card could not be
scanned. The security code helps ensure that the person using the card has it in his hands.

Presentation: Figure 11 shows the physical artifact model of a credit card. This artifact represents
multiple payment types of the same category. The font sizes may be misleading in terms of the
relevance of this information for transactional purposes. The color of the background together
with the company logo provides visual brand identification. Color, logo and bran can be leveraged
in a computer system to identify this payment type in a computer system.

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2.1.4. Cultural Model

Figure 12. Cultural Model.

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Figure 12 represents the company culture of the store department JCPenney. The cultural goal of
this department store is focused on the satisfaction of associates, customers and stockholders.
The values of this culture are embodied in the WINING TOGUETHER principles. Even though
there is a marked interest in recognizing and encouraging leadership in associates, they are
discouraged from directly interacting with upper management. They are encouraged however to
maintain a fluent communication with their department managers. The culture caters to a diverse
customer associates population. There are psychological factors influencing the customer’s
decisions to buy, but they escape to the store culture pervasiveness.

2.1.5. Physical Model

Figure 13. Physical Model.

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Figure 13 is the physical model for the department store JCPenny. This store has customer service
station in every department. The little squares represent registers. Sales Associates and
Department Managers are assigned to a department and the can use only the registers in their
department. U1 represents the person I interviewed, in this case the Sales Associate and the Store
Manager. They can perform their work either in the customer service station or in the department
floor. The annotations and arrows reveal the artifacts interchanged between different users and,
how they move through the store as they perform their work.

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2.2. Work Models – Karla Arosemena

2.2.1. Flow Models


-

Figure 14. Flow Model for Customer U3.

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Figure 15. Flow Model for Sales Associate U6.

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2.2.2. Sequence Model
The follow is the sequence model for buying an item performed by a customer. This sequence
model shows the step follow by a customer on any given day. The first intent is to “Go Shopping”,
which is triggered by going to the department store. The arrows indicate the sequence of steps.
When the customer decides what to buy, he proceeds to the checkout, completes the transaction
and leaves the store.

Intent: Go Shopping Trigger: Go to the department store



Intent: Take advantage of promotional Look for seasonal offers and discount items.
offers and save

Select items to purchase.

Ask for information about prices

Decide what to buy

Intent: Buy items Approach a checkout area

Wait in line to be served

While in the checkout process
Confirm price of the items
Had to decide whether
to take the item

Decline on taking one of the items

Pay with credit card

Sign in using the pin pad

Take bag/s

Leave the store
Figure 16. Sequence Model for buying an item – Customer point of view

The next sequence model shows the same scenario from last figure but according to the point of
view of a sales assistant.

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Intent: Take care of customers Trigger: Customer in line

Inform customer about prices and items
location

Next Customer in line

Intent: Checkout items Greet customer and receive the items to be
bought

Remove hooks from items

Scan item

Intent: Aware customer about the price of Announce item price to the customer
an item

Delete scanned item

Place the item apart

Scan next item

Announce item price to the customer

Totalize purchase in the system

Announce total amount to the user

Intent: Offer customers additional benefits Ask customer if having a store card, and explain
him the benefit of having one
Customer does not
have store card and
is not interested in getting one 
Indicate where to swipe credit card and where
to sign up

Remove security Tags and Bag items

Hand in the receipt and bags to the customer
Tell customer that there are coupons in the end
of the receipt

Thanks customer for their purchase
Figure 17. Sequence Model for buying an item - Sales Associate point of view.

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2.2.3. Artifact Model
Several are the artifacts used during the checkout process. Here we detail some of the ones we
found during the visit to the department stores. Due to time constraints, some of the images were
obtained on the Internet to better explain the functionality of certain devices.

Figure 18. Checkout area.

Checkout Area: This artifact shows the environment where a sales associate perform the checkout
process. The area layout is of great importance to have an idea of how the checkout elements
integrate with each other. There is a counter area, where customers place baskets or items, and
also gives enough space for sales associate to move. They can place unwanted items in a specific
location of the counter which would be stock later by them or other sales associate.

Figure 19. Gift Card example. Source:www.rwsinfo.com/rws_poswin.html

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Gift Cards: This artifact can be used by the costumer as a payment method to complete a
purchase. The gift card information (value and code bar) are storage in the system. The total
amount of the card is discounted over the purchase. If the amount of the purchase is greater than
the card amount, customers complete the transaction with another payment option. Conversely,
if the amount of the purchase is lesser than the card amount, customers can keep the gift card,
until its value becomes 0.

Figure 20. POS System. Source: http://www.quad.de/GB/IBM_SurePOS_543_pic7.jpg

POS System: This is the most important artifact in every checkout system. It is used by sales
associate to complete the checkout process. It has embedded an application that is connected to
the main servers of the store, so that it presents information regarding the items to be sold. Some
peripherals are used to communicate with this application. They can be classified into input and
output devices. The keyboard, touch screen, card reader and cash drawer are input devices. The
receipt printer is the output device. Besides these elements, there are some others that
complement the system such as handheld scanner (wireless or with cable) and credit card reader
device or pin pads devices.

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Figure 21. Coupon Discount Example. Source: www.goodexperience.com/tib/archives/misc/

Coupon Discount: this artifact is presented by customers at the checkout in order to get special
discounts. They are distributed by retail businesses to attract new customers and encourage more
purchases from existing customers. Basically, it shows the amount to be redeemed, the time frame
when the coupon is valid, a bar code to assure its validity, and additional information explaining
exceptions and some legal disclosures. Sales associates sometimes face problems with clients
about this artifact. For example, coupons may be redeemed by customers well before or after their
valid dates. In addition, sometimes customers are not aware of when a coupon discount can be
applied to their purchase.

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Figure 22. Price Tag Information.

Clothing Price Tags or price labels: department stores commonly use price tags as a method of
disclosing price of merchandise to their customers. Currently, these price tags are paper tags with
a printed retail price along with a printed bar code. To change prices during sales and clearances
requires manual removal of original tag either by tearing off the portion of the tag with the price
or replacing the price with a new sticker price. Some retailers have opted to place signs over the
shelves to explain the amount that would be reduce depending on the original price of the item,
and that the discount will take place at the register.

Receipt: this artifact is a written acknowledgement that a specified item has been received as an
exchange. The receipt acts as the title to the property obtained in the exchange. Some useful
information we can find on a receipt include business name, date of the transaction, bar code to
identify the transaction later on, if the customers require to return, exchange or claim a
merchandise, associate code identification, details of the transaction, legal disclosure, and so on.
In the following image these elements are shown.

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Figure 23. Merchandise on Hold Receipt. Source: http://nordictracksucks.net/images/receipt.jpg

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2.2.4. Cultural Model
The cultural model for a department store is basically based on customer satisfaction. They
require their staff to offer an exceptional customer service. In the following picture we can see the
influences (arrows) of every element (bubble) involved on this system.

Figure 24. Cultural Model.

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2.2.5. Physical Model
The next figure shows a physical model observed for one of the stores. The layout for the
checkout area varies a little bit, but the concept and elements remain the same. There is a
checkout area in every department within the store. They are located in a strategic point within
the department, normally in the middle, where customers can easily find it. They are also easy to
spot; thanks to a visible sign locate on the top of the stand. In most of the observed store, a sign
on the floor or a cordon is placed in a specific area near to the checkout to specify customers
where to wait to be served.

Inside the checkout area, we can find the POS, handheld scanner, a bin to place hooks, a box
underneath the counter to place the security tags, a shopping cart used to place the unwanted
items and a group of bags from different sizes under the counter.

Figure 25. Physical Model.

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2.3. Work Models – Esther Ariarasah

2.3.1. Flow Models

Figure 26. Flow Model for a Customer

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Figure 27. Flow model for a Sales Associate

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Figure 28. Flow Model for a Department Manager

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2.3.2. Sequence Models
The following models are sequence model for each interviewed stakeholder. They capture the
sequence of steps performed by the user in order to complete a task. The intent is stated on the
left column and the trigger is stated right at the top of each model.

Figure 29. Sequence model for a customer purchasing an item

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Figure 30. Sequence model for a customer exchanging an item

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Figure 31. Sequence Model for a sales associate handling a transaction for a customer

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Figure 32. Sequence model for a sales associate for scanning new items into the system

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Figure 33. Sequence model for a department manager for updating an item

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2.3.3. Artifact Models
The following are some of the artifact used during the checkout process. Here we detail some of
the ones we found during the visit to the department stores.

Figure 34 Artifact model of a checkout station

Checkout Area: Due to time constraints we were not able to take pictures of the checkout area.
But the above figure is a sketch of how the checkout area looks like and what instruments are
used during the checkout process. There is a counter area, where customers place baskets or
items, and also gives enough space for sales associate to move. They can place unwanted items in
a specific location of the counter which would be stock later by them or other sales associate.
Below the counter, there’s an area where all the bags are kept and another area to place all the
security tags. Right next to the checkout counter there’s a bin to collect all hangers. Checkout
registers, scanners and payment pads are also used during a transaction.

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Figure 35. Artifact model of a discount coupon

Discount Coupon: This is a model of a discount coupon. This artifact is presented by customers at
the checkout in order to get special discounts. They are distributed by retail businesses to attract
new customers and encourage more purchases from existing customers. The coupon shows the
amount to be redeemed, the time frame when the coupon is valid, a bar code to assure its validity,
and additional information explaining exceptions and some legal disclosures. Sales associates
sometimes face problems with clients about this artifact. For example, coupons may be redeemed
by customers well before or after their valid dates. In addition, sometimes customers are not
aware of when a coupon discount can be applied to their purchase.

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Figure 36. Artifact model of a receipt which a customer gets when they purchase items.

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2.3.4. Cultural Models
This section contains cultural models from the point of each interviewed stakeholder. In the
following diagrams we can see the interviewee with the profile code, the influencers represented
in a bubble and the influences as arrows.

Figure 37. Cultural Model of the department store from the point of view of a customer

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Figure 38. Cultural Model of the department store from the point of view of a Sales associate

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Figure 39. Cultural Model of the department store from the point of view of a Department Manager

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2.3.5. Physical Model
The following figure shows a physical model observed for one of the stores. The model represents
the store layout and where the checkout stations are located. It gives an overview of how the
stakeholders can go about doing their tasks.

Figure 40. Physical model of a department store

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3. Interpretation Session

3.1. Affinity Diagrams


In order to communicate contextual inquiry findings, individual interpretation notes were
grouped and transformed into an affinity diagram. This shows relationships, themes and
hierarchy across all issues. We classified the affinity diagrams in three big groups namely Sales
Associates at department store, Customer at department store and Department Manager at
department store.

A total of 103 individual notes from interpretation session were gathered and formatted in boxes
simulating post-it. The participant code was placed in the beginning of each note.

The schema of colors used to distinguish groups and categories are green, pink, blue and black.
Green represents the main category, in this case the users for this system; pink, the main topic for
the group under it; blue, the common themes for the individual notes; and finally, black
represents user’s notes.

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Figure 41. Sales Associate Affinity Diagram.

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Figure 42. Sales Associate Affinity Diagram (continuation).

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Figure 43. Sales Associate Affinity Diagram (continuation 2).

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Figure 44. Customer Affinity Diagram.

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Figure 45. Customer Affinity Diagram (continuation).

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Figure 46. Department Manager Affinity Diagram.

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Figure 47. Department Manager Affinity Diagram (continuation).

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3.2. Consolidation

3.2.1. Consolidating Flow Models


In order to consolidate flow models we generated a complete list of responsibilities for each
individual. From this compiled list of responsibilities, we identified roles played by individuals
and combine similar roles across individuals. We used a scheme of colors to distinguish each
individual and used these to keep track of how roles are mapped to individuals.

Table 1 Responsibilities for each individual

Sales Associate Customer Department Manager


Help and provide Select a store to buy Manage a specific
information for a items department
customer when Go to the store to buy Verify supply status
requested items Guide and support
Put customer items on Go through items and activities
hold select items Provide assistance with
Check whether an item Try on or test issues resolutions
is available products Help sales associate
Organize and arrange Purchase items with checkout process
items Return or exchange Put up and manage
Organize and shelve new items store displays
items If returning or Put up discount signs
Add new items into the exchanging item on merchandise
system bring receipt for the Resolve customer
Process a customer’s item issues
purchase Request information Resolve pricing and
Process a customer’s about products discount issues
exchange/return Use discount Email responsibilities
Process payment coupons and authorization
Scan discount coupons Open a new store Get feedback from
Give receipt for the credit card customers
transaction Resolve technical
Fold clothing properly issues
and place them in a bag Get complains about
Place clothes which are shopping experience
not foldable in garment Manage Authorization
bag Manage special orders
Handle fragile items
carefully and bag them
appropriately
Process opening a new
store credit card
Help other sales

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associates processing
checkouts
Report daily transaction
Maintain stockroom
merchandise
Answer phone calls

Table 2 Grouping of different roles

Item Manager Customer Helper


Check whether an item is available Help and provide information for a
Go through items and select items customer when requested
Verify supply status Resolve customer issues
Add new items into the system Provide assistance with issues
Put customer items on hold resolutions
Resolve pricing and discount issues Get feedback from customers
Manage orders and special orders Get complains about shopping
experience
Answer phone calls

Cashier Manager
Process a customer’s purchase Manage a specific department
Process a customer’s exchange/return Guide and support activities
Help other sales associates processing Help sales associate with checkout
checkouts process
Report daily transaction Email responsibilities and
Process payment authorization
Scan discount coupons Resolve technical issues
Give receipt for the transaction Manage Authorization

Store Organizer Shopper


Put up and manage store displays Select a store to buy items
Put up discount signs on merchandise Go to the store to buy items
Organize and arrange items Try on or test products
Organize and shelve new items Purchase items
Maintain stockroom merchandise Return or exchange items
If returning or exchanging item bring
receipt for the item
Request information about products
Use discount coupons

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Store credit card manager Bagger
Open a new store credit card Fold clothing properly and place them
Process opening a new store credit in a bag
card Place clothes which are not foldable
in garment bag
Handle fragile items carefully and bag
them appropriately

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Figure 48 Consolidated Flow Model

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3.2.2. Consolidating Sequence Models
Sequence Model for Customer purchasing an item

Activity Intent Abstract Step


Go to department store Purchase items Trigger: Go to department
store
Find discounted items
Select desired items
Approach the customer service Approach the checkout area
counter Wait for assistance
Present items to the sales
associate
Use discounts Reduce expenses Use store discount method
Verify items price
Decide what items to buy
Pay with credit card Pay for items Decide payment type
Present payment type to sales
associate
Verify purchase Validate payment
Take receipt
Take bagged items
Leave the store

Sequence Model for a Sales Associate assisting a customer for purchase

Activity Intent Abstract Step


Customer in line Assist customer Trigger: Next customer in line
approaches the counter approaches the counter with items
with items
Greet the customer Be polite Greet the customer
Process items for checkout Receive items
Gain access to process Log onto the system
transaction
Prepare items for Remove hooks from items
checkout Remove security tags from items
Place items in bags
Scan items
Announce scanned price to customer
Apply discounts Gain customer loyalty Apply discounts
Delete items Delete non desired item
Determine total amount Find out total amount Execute command in the system to
due due determine total amount due

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Activity Intent Abstract Step
Announce total amount due to
customer
Offer additional Offer customer additional benefit
discounts programs
Customer declines offer
Receive payment Process customer Process customer payment in the system
payment Direct customer to validate the
transaction
Print receipt Provide prove of Execute command to print receipt
purchase Pass receipt to customer
Pass bagged items to customer
Inform customer of additional offers
included with the receipt

Sequence Model for a Sales Associate assisting a customer for return

Activity Intent Abstract Step


Customer in line Assist customer Trigger: Next customer in line
approaches the counter approaches the counter with returning
with returning items items
Greet the customer Be polite Greet the customer
Process items for return Receive items
Determine reasons for return
Verify item’s conditions
Gain access to process Log onto the system
transaction
Fraud prevention Find out if customer has receipt
Scan item’s price tags
Verify scanned items exist in the system
Determine total amount of Execute command in the system to
refund determine total amount of return
Announce total refund
Store Credit Apply store credit Determine how to apply store credit
based on customer - New purchase
preference - Store card
Apply store credit
Print receipt Provide prove of Execute command to print receipt
transaction Pass new receipt to customer
Pass store card and/or bagged items to
customer

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Sequence model for a Department Manager assisting a customer

Activity Intent Abstract Step


Provide assistance Provide quick response Trigger: Find out about
problem
Go to the problem location Diagnose the problem and Go to the place where the
provide a solution problem is:
- Go to the checkout
area with the problem
- Log onto the system
Identify the cause of the - Find cause of problem Identify discrepancies between
problem - Identify what actions advertised discounts and
should be taken applied discounts
- Identify if sales
associate should be
authorized to resolve
this problem
- Verify that any changes
made are within the
business rules

Resolve the problem Provide a solution now If decided that sales associate
should have authorization:
- Give sales associate
authorization
- Verify associate’s
authorization works
Otherwise, make necessary
changes.

If changes can’t be made,


inform the customer
Exit Allow the transaction to Invite customer and sales
continue associate to continue
transaction

Sequence model for sales associate adding new item into the system

Activity Intent Abstract Step


New items placed on the Clear the service counter Trigger: New items on the
counter counter
Update inventory Make items available for Update inventory
purchase
Login Gain access to facilitate taking Log onto the system
action
Input item Make item information Scan item’s tag

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Activity Intent Abstract Step
available in the system
Verify item has been input in
the system
Add security tag Loss prevention Attach security tag to item
Place item aside Make room on the service Store item
counter for customer service

Sequence Model for Department Manager Adding New Discount

Activity Intent Abstract Step


Get new discount information Update the system with Trigger: get new discount
discount information information
Add a new discount Enable automatic application Add new discount
of discounts to items in the
system
Login Gain access to facilitate taking Log onto the system
action
Update item Modify discount information Choose items from the system
for an item
Make modifications
Verify item was updated
Exit Leave the update items section Logoff the system

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3.2.3. Consolidating Artifact Models
To create the artifact models consolidation, we focus on the artifacts and the elements within
them that might influence in the design of the self-checkout system. For example, in the case of
coupons and gift cards, the barcode or the unique code information is what is useful for the
checkout process. Meanwhile, for the customer the information such as valid dates and how to
use the element is what it is important. Another example is the transaction receipt, which
basically contains information about the products, the store, and a bar code that serves as a link
to the purchase in the automated system.

Figure 49 Artifact Model Consolidated (Coupons + Gift Cards).

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Figure 50. Artifact Model Consolidated (Receipts).

The next artifacts weren’t consolidated because they have a specific functionality within the
system.

Figure 51. Artifacts Model not consolidated.

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3.2.4. Consolidating Physical Models
The next figure shows the common physical structure in a department store. Limitations and
space constraints are shown in the gray area. The maximum of cashiers observed for the checkout
area is two. The space gets reduced due to the presence of elements like a shopping cart to place
unwanted items or a bin to place the hooks.

Figure 52. Physical Model Consolidated.

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3.2.5. Consolidating Cultural Model
To create consolidated cultural model we focus on the entire cultural model that we created
individually during the work model process. We first identify all the influencers and collect all
unique influences between each pair of influencers and organize them as cultural model.

Figure 53 Consolidated Cultural Model

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4. Work Redesign

4.1. Improvements in the aspect of transactions


The following table gives an overview of specific tasks which can be improved from the point of
our end users, specifically customers, sales associates and department manager. The table
contains all the specific tasks during a transaction which can be improved, the goal that is being
achieved by performing this task, types of users that will benefit from the improvement and why,
and some ideas on how to improve the particular task.

Table 3 List of tasks and suggested improvements

Task Goal Users Improvement Ideas


1. Waiting in line To checkout Mainly customer will benefit from this Have multiple self checkout
systems.
improvement. Customers who are on time
A timer which indicates the
constraint will be able to checkout faster. If waiting time
they waiting, they should would like to have
a feedback of the approximate waiting time.
2. Greeting To checkout Department manager and sales associate Automated greeter
Greeting should be visual and
who have hearing difficulty or have speech
audible
disability will benefit from this improvement
3. Holding on to To purchase Customers with heavy items. Shopping cart, basket.
purchasing Customers with lot of items. Shopping cart attached to a
Wheelchair.
merchandise Customers with few items. Shopping cart which has
Customers who have physical disabilities. children safety seats and toys
attached to it
Customers who have little children
4. Placing To purchase Department manager and sales associate Checkout counters with
adjustable height.
merchandise on the who have physical disabilities.
Extra knee space for
counter Customers who have physical disabilities. wheelchairs
5. Providing employee Start a new Department manager, sales associate, and Scanning employee id
login information transaction the customers will benefit from this Bio-metric reader
(Fingerprint id)
improvement because typing in login
information takes longer time than scanning
the id. Also typing errors also may occur
which will cause delay in processing a
transaction.

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Task Goal Users Improvement Ideas
6. Provide purchasing Process Department manager and sales associate will Use of a wireless device
attached to the “item carrier”
item information purchasing item benefit from this improvement because they
which contains a barcode
Look up price can be more available in assisting customers scanner, a small display screen
and options to “add to the
as well as focus on improving and
cart”, “Remove item” and
maintaining the store. “Checkout”.

Customers benefits from the improvement


because they can saving time by not waiting
in line or not waiting to add all the
purchasing items into the system. It allows
the customers to make purchase decision
before arriving to the service counter.

Customers can also lookup prices while they


are shopping.
7. Get feedback on the Process Department manager and sales associate will Display screen for customers
A touch screen display for the
added item purchasing item benefit from this improvement because they
employees.
can verify whether the item was successfully
added to the list of purchasing items.

Facilitate the process of providing remote


assistance to the customer.

Customers will also benefit from this


improvement because they can verify
whether the correct item was added, verify
the price and any applied discounts.
8. Remove security Deactivation of Both department manager and sales Use RFID as security tags and
automatically activate and
tags security tag associate will benefit because they’ll save
deactivate it.
time on not looking for the security tag,
removing it using a special device. In case if
these security tags were damaged during the
removal, the merchandise will be damaged
due to the black ink in the tag.

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Task Goal Users Improvement Ideas
9. Provide receipt Returning or Customers will benefit from the The system should keep track
of the purchased item and the
which contains exchanging items improvement because they do not require
encrypted credit card
return/exchange having the receipt. Therefore even if they information. This combination
can be used in place of
items lose the receipt they can still get a refund
providing a receipt.
back in gift card form or refunded back to
the card they used when purchasing the
item.
10. Get feedback on the Payment process Department manager, sales associate, and Automated speech enabled
system
total amount due customers will benefit from this
Display screen for customers
improvement because they have visual Another display screen for
representation of the total amount due. This the employees.

is also useful if the above mentioned users


are hearing impaired.

Customers who are visually impaired will


also benefit from the improvement because
they need an auditory feedback of the
amount due.
11. Providing personal Paying with a Improvement in this task will be benefitted Swipe or “tap on” payment
pad
account debit or credit by customers who wish to pay using credit
information card card or debit card.
12. Authorizing a Paying with a Improvement in this task will be benefitted Swipe or “tap on” payment
pad
transaction credit or debit by customers who wish to authorize their
Have minimum amount to
card payment because they can save time by not request for authorization
waiting for the signing receipt to print,
which leads to saving paper.
13. Get confirmation Verify purchase All types of customers benefit from the Printed receipt
Print receipt on a Braille
about the improvement of this task because they will
printer
transaction have a hard copy confirming their purchase.
Another important group of users, customers
who are visually impaired, can benefit by
getting hard copy of the purchase summary
where they can “read”.

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Task Goal Users Improvement Ideas
14. Organize the Bagging Sales associate and department manager will Have an automated bag
organizer which will display
purchased items benefit because they can save time on
which types of bags to use the
determining which type of bag to select. Also all of the purchased items.
they can keep the checkout area clean and
presentable without all the used/crushed
bags that were used to try to fit it
merchandise.
15. Providing personal Open a new store Customers will benefit the improvement, Activate touch screen for the
display for the customer
information credit card because they don’t need to provide sensitive
where the user can type in
data to a stranger ( Sales associate or personal information.
department manager)
16. Request assistance Problems Sales associate do not have to come to the Enable videoconferencing
with sales associate to inform
resolution customers checkout area to provide
of problem
assistance.

Allow sales associate and customer to


interact verbally if necessary.

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4.2. Vision
The following diagram depicts the vision for a department store. In this vision we focus mainly on
improving the transaction process.

Figure 54 The vision of a department store

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4.3. Storyboards
The following section contains storyboards for a department store. Each storyboard focuses on a
particular task performed by a user. It follows the structure of the consolidated sequence model
developed in the consolidation section.

Figure 55 A Storyboard for the department store: a customer purchasing items

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Figure 56 A Storyboard for the department store: a customer returning and item

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Figure 57 A Storyboard for the department store: Department manager assisting a customer

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Figure 58 A Storyboard for the department store: Sales associate adding a new item into the system

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Figure 59 A Storyboard for the department store: Department manage adding a new discount for an item

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5. System Design - User Environment Design (UED)

Figure 60. User Environment Design.

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