Do you like automats?

Let’s face it. When you get your potatoes from the store, do you think the scales is well designed? You have to remember the number of that specific potato and then locate it from the scales, among 220 numbers.

I certainly don’t.

It’s so easy to do two things:

  • do the numbering so that there’s ten numbers per line
  • place the sticker printer close to the numbers.

Currently most scales have 8 numbers per line. While that is nice if you are used to counting in octals, the majority of people like counting in decimal. Finding 145 is so much easier if all lines begin with an 1, 11, 21, 31, etc.

The sticker printer is actually very small these days. There’s no need to hide it in the pedestal of the scales. It could well be placed by the number table, or even better, by the display unit that shows you the price. It is almost every day that you see a senior person trying to find where that darned sticker is, because the printer unit is almost silent, and there’s no audio cue either.

And then we have the scales below – 11 numbers per line. I fail to know any other system of counting based on 11.

automated scales

And yes, I left the printer part out of the picture on purpose. It is under the number keypad to the right at the bottom.

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About heikkihietala

Heikki Hietala has worked at the crossroads of IT and language since 1986. He studied at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. With an M.A. in English Philology and minor degrees in Communication and Information Technology, he has seen action at Microsoft, McKinsey & Company, Lionbridge, Bates Advertising and since September 2003, HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences. His interests of late have been user interface design and usability, 3D Design using Blender, and information technology for the small and medium enterprises. In his spare time he writes fiction in English. His novel, "Tulagi Hotel", was published in 2010 and a short story collection, "Filtered Light and Other Stories", in 2012. Tulagi Hotel is now available in Kindle and in paperback (also at Akateeminen Kirjakauppa), published by Fingerpress UK. "Hotelli Tulagi" on saatavana myös suomeksi kirjakaupoista kautta maan.
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