Saturday, July 31, 2004

McDonald's gets hip...

Most of us have heard of IDEO (you know, the shopping cart movie). The design firm has taken on a project with McDonald's. IDEO and McDonald's have created self-order kiosks so that customers can order their meal without employee assistance. In case you were worried that the customers might not be able to speak English (or even illiterate) don't worry, the system is completely image based. Parents can now watch their children at the McDonald's Playplace while ordering their food... because the kiosks will be there as well as at the front counter.

It's interesting to think about the implications of this type of ordering system. Will McDonald's food be even cheaper now because they can have fewer employees? Will they put more of their money and effort into the quality of the food? Maybe the financial dynamics won't change but I think if this trial proves to be successful, this would be one of the largest spanning examples of interface design we will see in the near future. McDonalds is one of the few brands that is recognized worldwide. Just imagine if these kiosks were in every McDonalds around the world... this is highly unlikely, but if they were successful I think that it would change the industry in a significant way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stef, I definetly think the McDonalds thing is cool. Especially the fact that moms can watch their kids play and order food at the same time. I also like the image based idea - text is great, but I think by now, someone walking into McDonalds pretty much knows that they're not getting fast chinese food, and they don't need the full description: "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun!" Thanks for the jingle Mr. McDonald. Now I'll never forget!

August 5, 2004 at 9:43 PM  

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