We use ATM machines to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money. However, strangers unintentionally overlook what we do when they stand behind us or next to us because they stand side by side and people queue behind us. Unfortunately, this issue has not been addressed in Korea yet. Only a tiny, low-resolution mirror is attached on top of each machine.
Differently from Seoul, Shenzhen provides safer and more comfortable experience. A orange-colored bank not only provides sufficient distance between machines but also allows users to get inside the closed space. Therefore, Chinese users feel safe while being “encapsulated.”
In fact, ATM safety is an international issue. Designers address this issue from an innovative perspective. For instance, IDEO designed humanized ATMs for the Spanish bank, BBVA. This concept was introduced in Fastcodesign.
The biggest overhaul, though, has nothing to do with the touchscreen; it’s the position of the machine itself. It’s rotated 90 degrees, forcing people to queue up next to the ATM rather than behind it — a remarkably simple solution to a longstanding problem: the ominous feeling, when you’re taking out cash, that the guy behind you is about to rob you blind.
Another interesting idea is a concept called Magic Carpet proposed by a Polish industrial designer, Judyta Wojciechowska. This concept was introduced at the Behance.
Magic Carpet is a decorative floor covering located on the footway beside an ATM. The carpet design guides ATM users as to where to stand to maintain the privacy of the person using the ATM and also to accommodate pedestrian flow. This visual guidance on the footway indicates the desired direction and distance for the people to form the queue for the ATM. If the ATM user’s private space is invaded then sensors in the carpet detect this movement and activate a vibration system beneath their feet. The vibration alerts the user to respond and the “invader” to step back. This design consequently protects the ATM user from crimes such as shoulder surfing distraction theft and pick-pocketing.
Matt Kingdon gave a speech on the topic of design innovation at the Dong-A Business Form 2014. I was invited to moderate his speech by Jinseo Cho, a staff reporter of the Dong-A Business Review (DBR) and editorial director of the Harvard Business Review Korea (HBR korea). Matt is the founder of ?Whatif! innovation and has over 20 years of innovation consulting experience. He proposed that innovation is not the addition but the multiplication of four “i”s – identify, insight, idea, and implement. Put differently, Innovation cannot happen when any one of four “i” is missing, highlighting the equal importance of every aspect of innovation from research to ideation to execution.
He further emphasized in his speech that innovation needs simple tools and exploratory behaviors. First, he introduced tools such as “customer shoes” and “rope of scope.” Although these tools sounds simple, they enable managers to take the perspective of customers (customer shoes) and to prioritize needs and ideas instantly (rope of scope or simply placing needs/ideas inside or out of the rope). Managers use these tools not only to identify customers’ deeply rooted needs and address them effectively.
Then, he suggested that innovation needs the behaviors that promote exploration such as courageous curiosity or “Greenhousing.” Managers should be brave enough to pursue their curiosity and, more importantly, they should nurture immature ideas into commercially appealing innovative solutions.
His speech reminded me of David Kelley’s conversation with Roger Martin. Last year, David said, in order to generate wild ideas, people should have confidence about their own creativity (creative confidence) and then need a series of safe, small successes (guided mastery). Similarly, Matt highlighted courageous curiosity and greenhousing. To me, the most powerful insight from his speech is that innovation needs simple tools rather than a rigid process; innovators need rooms to improvise.
David Kelley, the president of the IDEO, visited Toronto and talked with Roger Martin, the former dean of Rotman School of Management, under the title of unleashing the creative potential within us all.
He started his speech saying that his life long question is how to innovate routinely. He suggests we need three things: creative confidence, guided mastery, and design thinking. First, creative confidence (or self efficacy proposed by Bandura) helps us to go beyond inside-the-box thinking. Next, guided mastery (or a series of small successes) is needed for generated wild ideas not to lose their flames. Finally, design thinking (or mindful or open-mind attitude) enables us to try something new, in particular when we work with others.
He also emphasized the importance of empathic observation by presenting a few real projects that his employees/students conducted. For example, his team investigated how to help K-12 students in California eat more healthy food. The most important finding was that lunch is not just about food but more like a social activity for kids. Therefore, his team proposed games so that kids play together, come back to the table and sit down together, and then eat vegetables together. This activity led kids to eat more vegetables.