In a previous blog post I complained about the user interface for our vending machine on the second floor of the Autodesk One Market Street office:
I thought that the ordering process had too many steps and was silly because:
- Purchasers could not tell the price of an item before they started the ordering process.
- The prices of the items almost never change, so why not display them the old way?
Actually, given the machine's ordering process, the vendor could have leveraged the situation by instituting variable pricing. Imagine a vending machine where the price of the item depends on the quantity of items in the vending machine:
- Should it be that when there is only one of an item left, it is more expensive because it is the last one?
- Or should it be that when there is only one of an item left, it is the least expensive because the vendor wants to sell it before it goes stale?
Well, the question is moot. I went to the vending machine the other day, and I saw:
It appears that the vendor has decided to rectify the situation. Yes, Lays jalapeño-flavored kettle cooked chips are indeed $1.00. The vendor put stickers on the placards below each item - just like it was before the new process. The ordering process still has too many steps, but at least employees know the prices before they consider making such a nutritious purchase.
Vending is alive in the lab.