Short Assignment 4 – Vending Machine Storyboards

I studied vending machines at three different location by observing people’s interaction with it. I came up with a storyboard for each of the vending machines.

Georgia Tech 8th Street Apartment Vending Machine


Situation: I got really thirsty when I was trying to finish an assignment that was due the next day.

  1. I quickly grabbed my wallet and ran down stairs to the vending machine.
  2. Even though the vending machine was hidden in the corner, I instantly recognized it by its shining coke logo.
  3. Unlike most other vending machines on campus, this vending machine doesn’t take Buzz Card. I know that because the
    vending machine doesn’t have a Buzz Card slot.
  4. I was in a rush to get back up stairs so I quickly inserted two one dollar bills into the dollar bill slot on the top right of the vending machine interface.
  5. I pressed the first button for Coke.
  6. The LED display showed sold out.
  7. I pressed the second button for Fanta.
  8. The LED display showed the same thing.
  9. I was in a huge rush to finish the assignment. So I pressed all the buttons one by one hoping that one of them is still in stock.
  10. All of drinks ended up being sold out.
  11. I pressed the coin return button to get my money back.
  12. I got the two dollars back in coins.

Reaction: I forgot to check the LED display to see if the vending machine was sold out because I was in a rush. I just automaticly assumed that the vending machine had what I wanted. This vending machine needs a more conspicuous display to show its stock.

Georgia Tech CRC bottom floor vending machine


Situation: I was really thirsty after some intense work out. I was looking for a vending to get a drink.

  1. I recognized the vending machine by its distinctive look. The front of the vending machine showed all the drink that are stored inside the machine.
  2. I slid my Buzz Card through the card reader on the machine.
  3. The LED display on the card reader shows nothing.
  4. From previous experience, I know that this means the card reader is broken. So I inserted two one dollar bills into the dollar bill slot.
  5. I searched the stock aisle in the vending machine to find the corresponding item code for the Diet Coke I wanted.
  6. I entered the B2 onto the key pad.
  7. The machine grabbed the Diet Coke from B2 and delivered it to the item retrieval slot.

Reaction: The display of the card reader should show a error message to tell the user that it is not working. I wasn’t confused because this has happened to me before with a different vending machine on campus. However if I didn’t have that experience, I would have been really confused.

Student Center Vending Machines


Situation: I got really hungry while walking to class. I decide to stop by the vending machine in the student center.

  1. I recognized the vending machine, because I could see all the snacks stored inside the vending machine through its transparent plastic panel.
  2. I slid my Buzz Card through the card reader on the machine. The LED display on the card reader showed that it took one dollar from my Buzz Card.
  3. I scanned through the stock aisle of the vending machine and found that the chips I want is located on slot A2.
  4. I entered A2 on the key pad.
  5. The machine grabbed the chips from A2 and delivered it to me.

Reaction: I was really happy I got what I wanted. The machine was really efficient and well maintained.

Overall – All three vending machines uses similar design with their input and output on the left side of the machine. The layout of the input interface for all three machines are designed to follow the operating procedure of someone buying something from the machine. The top of the layout is used for payment. The middle is a key pad for entering item numbers. The bottom is consisted of a box for coin return and a box for the user to get his purchased goods. However two out of the three vending machines lack the proper feedback to inform the user that something is wrong with the machine.


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