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Universal Design Overlooked with too much Innovation at McDonald’s

Exterior of McDonald's

McDonald's New Touch Screen

My friend and I met for lunch at McDonald’s yesterday and man has it changed. They now have a ‘build your own burger’ option, staff that clear your table and, what I want to bring attention to, is their new ‘touch screen’ menu which can be used to pre-order your meal, well… if you can.

I decided to give the new way of ordering a try. The flaws for a person with accessible needs were prevalent.

First of all, to start ordering, you must push a button way up high, which is almost impossible to reach if you’re in a wheelchair or scooter. Note: There is a button on the home screen you can select  to lower the ordering buttons. However, it is hard to find as it’s located at the bottom right-hand corner and not at eye-level where it SHOULD be for people using mobility devices!

Then when I placed my order and because of my hand tremor it plugged in 3 of an item instead of one and I couldn’t figure out how to ‘cancel’ the additional orders. So needless to say, I ended up going to the counter to place my order!

I get that McDonald’s wants to be innovative, but I’d suggest keeping it simple. As a first step, they could make their restaurants fully accessible with automatic door switches, which was missing at the location I visited in Alliston. And then they can start introducing touch screens but not before they have gone through vigorous testing and meet the requirements of a person with accessible needs.

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