These automatic kiosks are everywhere now. These machines are only minimally interactive, but I think they are especially interesting. I do not like using them, but I like it more than actually going up to the ticket window and talking to an actual person to buy my ticket. That dynamic seems off-putting and strange. This particular batch is from the Regal Cinema in Union Square. People can use them to buy tickets for movies, or pick up tickets that they have already bought online.
Most people coming into the theater seem to gravitate towards the automatic kiosks. I didn’t actually take notes on the numbers, but it seemed true. There are enough kiosks that no one has to wait to buy a ticket, even when there is a large crowd and several kiosks are out of order.
I timed 20 transactions from first screen tap to picking up printed tickets.
I was surprised that the average time was around a minute, it seemed so much longer than that. Most of the time seemed to be spent tapping through informational interfaces, and the most common problem seemed to be with the credit card readers.
The whole time I was there I expected at least one user to get really angrily frustrated with the process, but no one did. Even the people who had trouble seemed to take it all in stride. They tried different credit cards without prompting from the machine and solved their own problems. It seems like at this point everyone has a pretty good mental model for how these things work. Also, I wonder if everyone has very low expectations for how the machines will work so event the fact that it works at all is a success.
Even after observing folks buying tickets I’m left wondering why everyone prefers this over talking with a person. Quicker process? Aversion to talking with others? I guess that one needs more research.