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5 Keys to Creating Successful Self-Service Multi-Touch Kiosk Applications
This is your first time building a self-service interactive experience? Here are five things to keep in mind:
- Catch your audience’s attention: Don’t overestimate the beauty and wonder of your experience. Assume people have lives and may even be a bit distracted as they rush past your installation. Grab their attention. This could be something simple like an endlessly repeating video (aka an “attract loop”) or something more advanced like using Microsoft Kinect to sense people near your display. When they get close, trigger a video or a “Hey, over here!” audio message of some kind. (Well I call that advanced but it’s quite easy to arrange with IntuiFace.)
- Reset when unused: Built a gorgeous attract loop? Make sure your experience resets itself after a predefined period of time of no interaction, With IntuiFace you would use an inactivity timer. After x number of seconds of no interaction, go back to the attract loop.
- Consider privacy needs: What exactly are you going to have users do? If a credit card transaction is involved, a 55" wall mounted display is a digital sign just asking for passers-by to watch PIN entry. On the other hand, nothing attracts a crowd like interactive experiences easily seen from a distance. Device size and orientation will have a great influence on the success of your installation. At the same time, you may have to adapt your design to account for room size, visibility, level of privacy required, etc.
- Train the user - simply: Don’t assume your users will immediately intuit how things are supposed to work. You have to guide them. That said, no successful self-service kiosk imposes heavy training burdens. Incorporate guidance as a native element in your design. For example, use subtle graphics or Flash animation to hint where swipe, pinch or spread gestures might be helpful.
- Assume big fingers and poor eyesight: You could cram a lot of detail into an experience but why assume your average user will have great vision or small hands capable of pressing the tiniest of buttons? Your experience needs to be accessible. Of course, there will be design differences between, for example, an interactive experience targeting 20 year olds and another targeting 60 year olds. Just create a picture of the average user in your head and build for that person.
Makes sense, right? Now all you need to do is create an amazing, memorable design and workflow.
Piece of cake!