Soapbox

Gas Pumps

Published: 2008-09-20

I'll admit this is a petty topic but it's still something I want to get off my chest. Why does filling-up at the gas station have to be such a challenge?

I'm not talking about the cost of gas. There are plenty of uniformed rants about gas prices around if that's what you're interested in. No, I'm talking about the poorly designed self-service pumps.

Back in the day you'd have actually pay an attendant after filling-up or even worse prepay with cash, a process that assumes the customer is a thief. The self-service station pumps with credit swipers were supposed to make your life easier and they did for a little while. Somehow they've managed to turn that simple system into a mess that makes paying the dude behind the register seem like a delight.

Here's how the average interaction with the pump goes today:

You could easily consolidate this mess into a more simple system:

More simple gas pump