There is no denying that interactive kiosks are not just here to stay, but experiencing massive growth across a number of different industries, from healthcare to food service environments. On the other hand, many kiosk projects, as well-intended as they may be, often suffer from a great deal of criticism, ultimately resulting in a very expensive program failure.
So if some interactive kiosk deployments are massively successful and others a total loss -- what makes the great ones, well...great? The answer is usability. Usability that is built not just into the physical kiosk to make it universally accessible, but usability as it relates to the software that powers the kiosks and is what experts call “user experience.”
What are the key factors in creating best-in-class interactive kiosk UX with which real, live humans actually want to engage? While it will to some extent depend on how and where the kiosk will be used, there are some commonalities that apply to just about any situation.
- If you want consumers to actually use the kiosk, locate it well within the sightlines of the average person. This may seem obvious, but many a kiosk has been horribly misplaced. Understand the traffic flow of the environment in which it will be used, and plan accordingly. This information will ultimately affect not just placement, but also the kiosk’s form factor and software -- something we’ll get to later on in these recommendations.
- You can make predictions all you’d like about what people want out of a self-service kiosk interaction, but what you really need is information, and lots of it. It’s time to get your hands dirty. Figuratively anyway. Get out there and observe. Ask actual users real questions. Take note of their frustrations. Buy research if you have to; there is plenty out there to be had. But understand that if you do not truly understand what people want from your kiosk, you will never be able to deliver a world-class user experience, because it all depends on them -- the people who will be using it everyday. Period. All the cool whiteboard ideas in the world don’t matter if you can’t consistently delight your end user in the real world.
- Make sure that your kiosk solves problems rather than creating them. People use kiosks in order to save time or optimize efficiency in some way. If a kiosk regularly frustrates consumers due to any number of reasons -- latency, poor functionality, an unattractive or confusing interface, system errors -- they aren’t likely to come back. And worse? In today’s digital age of omnipresent social media, there’s a good chance that any failures, especially if experienced by Millennials who are the primary target for most self-service kiosks -- will be reported upon to the general public with great speed. There are exactly zero brands that need that kind of negative publicity.
Check back next week for more ways to create the best possible user experience via interactive kiosk deployments. In the meantime, if your business is ready to enter the brave new world of touchscreen kiosks now, RedyRef, an end-to-end manufacturer of vertically integrated kiosk solutions, works with companies of all sizes to ensure the success of their self-service kiosk programs. Submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today for more information.