How do you create a simple user interface for a machine that enables people to send and pickup parcels?

PostNL was interested in me after I had worked on a sample project of them. There were multiple contestants taking part in the race and PostNL would pick two designers that would continue to work on the project.

I was one of those designers that got picked to proceed with this project.

Biggest issue

PostNL had launched a new product for their consumers to help make it easier for people to receive and deliver their parcel (and by extension mail). It is basically a pick up and mail machine that can be used 24/7 without need of a postman.

The issue was that the current experience of the machine was lacklustre and wasn't helpful for the people using it. I got the task to alleviate this.


To get a good idea of the situation we interviewed multiple people working at and with PostNL. This made sure we knew what was lacking on both sides of the coin. In this research we discovered that people had a hard time using the system due to the instructions given on the screen; they didn't say enough.

Next to that you had that the machine didn't give enough feedback when something happened, so users got lost in flows unable to get themselves out. So we created a few versions of the interface (it's in Dutch).

User testing

By having multiple user tests with different stakeholders we ironed out a lot of the mistakes present in the interface. The UX improved and after every next test the results came out more and more positive. We used eye-tracking tools, created heatmaps and asked questions to get the insights we needed.


I really liked working hard on this project and testing to remove all the errors. It was very rewarding to see the previous wrongs made right through validation. I also enjoyed going out and interviewing people about their use of the system, I think that a lot of companies miss that nowadays. They mostly use surveys (that work very well and help a lot don't get me wrong) but once you step out and actually talk to the people you create it for, it starts to make more sense.

If you'd like to see the prototype you can find it here.

Cancer Institute