Ash at CIID

Ashwin Rajan's blog while at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

User Interface at the Grocery Store

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Language is a problem in Denmark, and though most  Danes you meet speak great communicative English, they don’t bother too much with having English signs within physical built-up environment. Here’s one example of how this can be a nag: a weighing machine at the local IRMA grocery store. Since I don’t speak English, Danish text is kind of invisible to me – that is, I don’t really notice stuff written in Danish. Hence this machine was quite invisible to me when I had to look for it. I felt like I looked around quite a bit before I spotted something that was right in front of me.


It was surprisingly hard to spot the weighing machine amongst the stuff on display.

But finding it didn’t really solve my problem. They’ve apparently given the interface some thought, using pictures to depict the items you can weigh. But some pictures have had to be removed, (or simply fell off?) and those have just been replaced with words in Danish. The two items I chose from the shelves did not have pictures depicting them, so I spent another few minutes playing an interesting game going back and forth between the shelves where the food was stocked and the machine trying to match names. And not all the items on the shelves had names!



Written by Ashwin Rajan

January 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm

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