Checkout Stand UI

I work a lot at the UI layer of an application, so when I see bad UI, I generally recognize it.

I encountered bad UI as I was going through the self-checkout line of the grocery store at lunch. I finished scanning all of my items, then clicked the button to pay. The next screen showed me probably 20 different payment options, and some of them were redundant. In my case, I wanted to pay with a debit card and get cash back. There were two possible options that fit my situation: “Debit” and “Debit + Cash.”

Seeing as how the screen said “Select your payment type” in the title area, I actually got confused: Does “Debit + Cash” mean I’m paying partially with my debit card and partially with cash, or does it imply that I only have the cash-back option if I select that option?

I asked the nearby clerk, who didn’t understand why I might be confused, then finally came through with the answer that “Debit + Cash” means “pay with debit card and get cash back.” Of course, by then she had decided that I also didn’t know how to work the debit card machine and walked me through that one, step by step as well.

Bad UI, fellas. Bad UI.