This thesis is concerned with the design and evaluation of a checkout
system in self-service shops in Sweden. The aims were (a) to
study the ergonomics of the development of a new check-out system
which is to be part of a new automatic data handling system in
retailing, and (b) to evaluate certain ergonomics methods used in
a system development programme.
The thesis falls into five parts. The first deals with a system
analysis of check-out systems in self-service shops. The second
consists of a literaturereview of the ergonomics of keyboards
relevant to cash register design. The third describes an experimental
evaluation of two keyboards suitable for use with cash registers.
The fourth describes surveys, involving interviews, cuestionnaires
and observational studies, on customers and cashiers using and
working in self-service shops. In the fifth and final part experimental
and survey results are discussed and interpreted.
The principal results obtained can be summarised as follows.
(a) For ten button keyboards speed and accuracy of performance is
better with the keys 123 on the top row and the keys 789 on the
bottom row, than conversely. Cashiers generally prefer the
123 to the 789 keyboard.
(b) A new cash desk (into which the 123 keyboard may be placed)
incorporating two moving conveyor belts, which has recently
been introduced into self-service shops has improved
working conditions for cashiers. Suggestions are made on how the
cash desk may be further improved from the point of view of
both cashiers and customers.
(c) Important relationships between results obtained from interviews
involving the reporting of critical incidents, questionnaires
and observational studies are reported and the methodological
implication of these relations reviewed.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.