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April 25, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Parking meter

I was amused by this parking meter, whose awful design optimistically invites a "smart card" (see upper left).

Note all the instructions and some bonus graffiti.


if this comment is broken, please use another comment on this page.

Posted by: gmangw at April 25, 2006 12:13 AM

Aw, screw it. How much is the ticket?

Posted by: Homer at April 25, 2006 12:57 AM


Don't get it

Posted by: Debi at April 25, 2006 12:58 AM

If I was near that, I'd tear off the taped on instructions and put up fake ones, dooming the customer with false information.

Posted by: Hil at April 25, 2006 01:28 AM

That comment was broken...

The name should be Gil

Posted by: Gil at April 25, 2006 01:29 AM

The singular form of graffiti is graffito, since it's an Italian loanword.

Posted by: Grant Hutchins at April 25, 2006 04:07 AM

I think I'm broken because I actually understand the directions. Maybe I just didn't get enough sleep last night.

Posted by: Jpantis at April 25, 2006 07:00 AM

I'm confused...

Exactly what is broken here?

Posted by: Louis at April 25, 2006 08:35 AM

> Exactly what is broken here?

Somebody had to tape 4 pieces of paper with instructions to this machine because, straight out of the box, people must not have been able to figure out how to use it.

Posted by: CommanderFalafel at April 25, 2006 09:09 AM

I'm wondering what kind of people can't figure out 24-hour time.

Posted by: Fuzzy at April 25, 2006 09:15 AM

So it's already been fixed? Then why is it even posted?

Posted by: Louis at April 25, 2006 09:25 AM

Because it shouldn't be necessary to need to tape things on to what's supposed to be a relativly easy-to-use machine.

Posted by: Mnok at April 25, 2006 10:22 AM

"So it's already been fixed? Then why is it even posted?"

Something shouldn't need four or more taped instructions all over it to figure out. It's just a parking meter, and should be simple to use so as not to waste people's time. Still Broken due to bad customer experience, unless you are looking for broken things to take pictures of.

Posted by: nasion at April 25, 2006 10:22 AM

Mnok = broken for stealing my explanation while I typed it =D

Posted by: nasion at April 25, 2006 10:25 AM

I think the "continue reading parking meter" link at the top of the comments section is broken.

Posted by: Ron Mexico at April 25, 2006 10:58 AM

It's hard to tell from the picture but it seems as if the machine originally just had an "icons only" interface which needed some explanatory text to clarify.

Broken as designed.

Posted by: Steve at April 25, 2006 11:17 AM

Oh, I agree the original design was broken, though it was likely meant for multilingual use. But the business that owns the meter has already tried to correct the problem. If the meter by itself had been posted, someone would have said "At least they could tape up some better instructions."

As for the original instructions, anyone who knows a simple way to covey ideas across numerous language barriers without resorting to pictographs, please it share with the rest of the world. We'd really appreciate it.

Posted by: Louis at April 25, 2006 11:49 AM

Wow - 40 cents an hour. Can't park anywhere in San Diego for less than $2.00 per HALF hour. Now THAT'S broken!

As for this submission, broken - shouldn't need all those signs.

Posted by: susieQ at April 25, 2006 12:04 PM

Ok, everyone has seen the "continue reading..." link by now. I think that it's like these online newspapers that have a "continue article below" link above an ad on the page. Maybe Mark is thinking of placing ads in the page?

Posted by: k00ld00d at April 25, 2006 05:28 PM

And the continue reading link is broken too.. it goes nowhere....Ohh no Thisisbroken is broken once again?

Posted by: infinity306 at April 25, 2006 05:58 PM

Screw pictographs. Learn english. My ancestors did, and so should the current lot of immigrants (and native born illiterates). Next they'll want pictograph street name signs for the lazy, no english reading ding-a-lings.

Posted by: Paul at April 25, 2006 08:56 PM

Paul: .........I don't even know what to say to you man! WOW

Posted by: Mike at April 26, 2006 01:37 AM

Smart cards are card that have tiny chips in them.

Posted by: Parker at April 26, 2006 07:26 AM

That tell your info.

Posted by: Parker at April 26, 2006 07:27 AM

I agree with Paul. If I were going to move to Mexico I would learn Spanish. If I were going to move to Germany I'd learn German. I wouldn't expect those countries to accommodate me if I were too lazy or stupid to learn the language of the country I was in.

There would be no need to confuse 99% of the people trying to figure out what the little pictures mean just to accommodate the 1% that can't speak the language...

The original design is broken, and if it is in an English speaking nation it should have been in English to begin with.

Posted by: Tim at April 26, 2006 11:44 AM

I agree about the icons. Icon-only is overdone and wrong. Icons + text is great. Text only is good. Icon only is bad.

Posted by: J. Scott at April 26, 2006 07:39 PM

About English, I agree with what my great grandmother said, "Ve ist in America now, so ve vill speaked ze inklish."

Posted by: Timm at April 27, 2006 03:58 AM

We have some machines like this near where i live. They are so broken that at times when the parking lot is getting a lot of use (plays, sporting events, concerts), they hire parking attendants to take your money, put the correct tokens in the machine and hand you your ticket. What is wrong with having that big metal box that you shove money into? If someone is going to check your ticket, its just as easy to check the box, too.

Posted by: SammyC at May 2, 2006 05:57 PM

Must I point out that the "continue reading" button is broken.


Posted by: joe at May 21, 2006 10:19 AM

not anymore

Posted by: chris at June 22, 2006 10:33 PM

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