Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Systems & Design 2017

Font Size: 
Usability and User-Centered Design - User Evaluation Experience in Self-Checkout Technologies
Francisco António Barreto Fernandes, Bernabé Hernandis Ortuño

Last modified: 07-02-2018


The increasing advance of the new technologies applied in the retail market, make it common to sell products without the personal contact between seller and buyer, being the registration and payment of the products made in electronic equipment of self-checkout.

The large-scale use of these devices forces the consumer to participate in the service process, which was previously done through interaction with the company's employees. The user of the self-checkout system thus performs all the steps of the purchase, from weighing the products, registering them and making the payment. This is seen as a partial employee, whose participation or performance in providing services can be used by the company to improve the quality of its operations (KELLEY, et al 1993). However this participation does not always satisfy the user, and may cause negative experiences related to usability failures.

This article presents the results of the evaluation by the users of the self-checkout system. The data were collected in Portugal through a questionnaire to 400 users.

The study analyzes the degree of satisfaction regarding the quality and usability of the system, the degree of motivation for its adoption, as well as the profile of the users.

Analysis of the sample data reveals that users have basic or higher education and use new technologies very often. They also have a high domain of the system and an easy learning of its use.

The reason for using self-checkout instead of the traditional checkout is mainly due to "queues at checkout with operator" and "at the small volume of products". In general, the sample reveals a high degree of satisfaction with the service and with quality, however, in comparative terms, self-checkout is not considered better than operator checkout.

The evaluation of the interaction with the self-checkout was classified according to twenty-six attributes of the system. The analysis identifies five groups with similar characteristics, of which two have low scores. "Cancellation of registered articles", "search for articles without a bar code", "manual registration", "bagging area", "error messages", "weight sensor" and “invoice request "are seven critical attributes of the system.

The results indicate that the usability analysis oriented to the self-checkout service can be determinant for the user-system interaction. The implications of empirical findings are discussed together with guidelines for future research.

Keywords: Interaction Design, Self service, Self-checkout, User evaluation, Usability


ABRAHÃO, J., et al (2013). Ergonomia e Usabilidade. 1ª Edição. São Paulo: Blucher.

ALEXANDRE, J. W. C., et al (2013). Análise do número de categorias da escala de Likert aplicada à gestão pela qualidade total através da teoria da resposta ao item. In: XXIII Encontro Nacional de Engenharia de Produção, Ouro Preto.

BOOTH, P. (2014). An Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (Psychology Revivals). London Taylor and Francis.

CASTRO, D., ATKINSON, R., EZELL, J., (2010). Embracing the Self-Service Economy, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Available at SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1590982

CHANG, L.A. (1994). A psychometric evaluation of 4-point and 6-point Likert-type scale in relation to reliability and validity. Applied Psychological Measurement. v. 18, n. 2, p. 05-15.

DABHOLKAR, P. A. (1996). Consumer Evaluations of New Technology-based Self-service Options: An Investigation of Alternative Models of Service Quality. International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 13, pp. 29-51.

DABHOLKAR, P. A., BAGOZZI, R. P. (2002). An Attitudinal Model of Technology-based Selfservice: Moderating Effects of Consumer Traits and Situational Factors. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 30 (3), pp. 184-201.

DABHOLKAR, P. A., BOBBITT, L. M. & LEE, E. (2003). Understanding Consumer Motivation and Behavior related to Self-scanning in Retailing. International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 14 (1), pp. 59-95.

DIX, A. et al (2004). Human-Computer Interaction. Third edition. Pearson/Prentice-Hall. New York.

FERNANDES, F. et al, (2015). Do Ensaio à Investigação – Textos Breves Sobre a Investigação, Bernabé Hernandis, Carmen Lloret e Francisco Sanmartín (Editores), Oficina de Acción Internacional - Universidade Politécnica de Valência Edições ESAD.cr/IPL, Leiria.

HELANDER, M., LANDAUER, T., PRABHU, P. (1997). Handbook of Human – Computer Interaction. North–Holland: Elsevier.

KALLWEIT, K., SPREER, P. & TOPOROWSKI, W. (2014). Why do Customers use Self-service Information Technologies in Retail? The Mediating Effect of Perceived Service Quality. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 21, pp. 268-276.

KELLEY SW, HOFFMAN KD, DAVIS MA. (1993). A typology of retail failures and recoveries. J Retailing. 69(4):429 – 52.