I’ve seen people having trouble figuring out where to tap their ORCA card on the reader. The correct location is on the ORCA logo but many try to tap on the screen, the lights, or on the “TAP ORCA HERE” instruction label. Having people unnecessarily learn through trial-and-error is poor design.
The text and arrows on the instruction label give conflicting instructions. People read the text and then try to tap the card on the label itself. If they are lucky the card may be read but they don’t learn the correct tapping location. Why doesn’t it say “TAP ON THE ORCA” or “TAP ORCA BELOW”? Better yet, how about including an outline or graphic of an ORCA card in the target area to make it obvious where to tap. People see the card graphic and instantly know where to tap the card.
Who is the “TAP ORCA HERE” label intended for? The label isn’t useful for people looking for the reader since it’s not visible from a distance. The yellow post and cover does that function better. The label also fails to effectively communicate to people who don’t know where to tap the card on the reader.
On buses, which have different type of reader, there are similar problems. Some have taken a marker and drew arrows in by themselves. People still try to tap on the bright screen. The latest generation of readers solve the problem by making the entire screen the tapping target. As cool as they look we don’t need to get new readers. Doing the same as suggested for the Link readers would be a relatively quick and cheap usability improvement.