I really try to do all my shopping at the local farmers’ markets. Always fresh and seasonal, and it makes me feel good that I don’t add unnecessary miles to our food. When I do need to use the major supermarkets, I tend to shop online then collect it from a designated area. I’d much prefer a play in the park than an hour in the supermarket.

However, when I do need to go to the supermarket it is usually for a top-up of fruit and/or vegetables or some last minute ingredient, or nappies. Therefore, I am a frequent user of the self-service checkouts. My mother hates them. She thinks that someone has been done out of a job by placing them in supermarkets. Personally, I love it!

On an extended shop last week (I forgot to place the internet order), I kept a steady eye on movement through the self service area, taking in all it’s obvious design features. I watched how people moved in and out of the space, and also what happened when there were lots of people in the space at the same time.

The space is set up to ensure smooth flow of customers through the process of purchasing their groceries fairly quickly. The bank of registers on the side closest to the exit are card only, so I noticed that people with just one or two items used those. People with larger shops tended to use the cash and/or card registers.

I know there is much more to the design than I am aware of, but I’m looking forward to exploring it’s nuances further.

Coles self service area - designed for a purpose