Have you ever become bored or frustrated with using a touchscreen kiosk and walked away? Or decided to join a queue so you can deal with an actual person instead? If so, the organisation that spent the money on those kiosks has likely made some crucial mistakes.
To make sure you don't fall into this trap with your kiosks, we've put together the following seven tips to improve the usage of your kiosks:
1. Make sure the kiosks are positioned for maximum visibility
It may sound obvious, but if the kiosk or kiosks aren't somewhere prominent, people won't use them or may not even see them at all.
If the kiosks are intended to save valuable employee time and therefore money, ensure the kiosks are in a prominent position and their branding is eye-catching to draw people to them or they will struggle to deliver the planned benefits.
2. Run software designed for use on a touchscreen
Again, it sounds like an obvious point, but ensure your kiosk interface is easy to use and navigate with touch.
Avoid using small buttons or drop down menus - if your kiosk application interface is web based then you have the advantage of a range of responsive website technologies (see our getting started with Bootstrap article) to ensure everything is touch friendly.
3. Help the user to complete the process
Try to avoid presenting the user with too many choices at once, especially to less tech-savvy users. Ideally keep questions and choices (such as "Select your payment method") to one per screen and don't ask for too much information in one go.
Show where the user is in the process with a progress indicator and allow them to control their progress with Next, Back and Home buttons if appropriate.
You can see this in action with Welcm, our visitor management app, which breaks the sign in process down into simple steps.
4. A picture speaks a thousand words
Users will only absorb a very limited amount of information from your kiosk when it's displayed to them. Screens with long paragraphs of text will cause information overload and users will be put off.
If it's possible to use graphics, such as a map with a highlighted route or a simple animation, then use these in place of text. This has the added benefit of making the kiosk easier to understand by speakers of all languages, which is essential in multinational deployment areas such as tourist attractions.
5. Stay focused on one task
If the kiosk is intended to help with one key task, make sure it does this well and efficiently. Don't complicate the process by offering too many options from one kiosk.
Consider dedicated kiosks for clearly separate tasks such as ticket vending and customer feedback. This will lead to more satisfied customers and more maintainable hardware and software compared with combining multiple functions in one machine.
6. Make sure the software is locked down
You've probably seen kiosks or digital signage screens with either a prominent system error message or the desktop showing on the screen instead of the intended application.
This is embarrassing for the kiosk owners and happens when the systems have not been correctly configured to restart the application in the event of a problem and to suppress the visible parts of the operating system.
Windows 10 comes with a suite of tools and functions to put the operating system into kiosk mode, as do Android and iOS devices, so make sure you take advantage of them.
7. Monitor interaction with the kiosks to minimise frustrations
Regularly monitor how users interact with your kiosks in order to identify issues. Some factors to be aware of include:
- Are people satisfied with the positioning of the kiosk - is it comfortable to use and does it provide privacy if required?
- Are there points in the process where users repeatedly take longer than expected or abandon the the kiosk transaction?
- If the kiosks are intended to ease the workload on your staff, can this be demonstrated and proven?
If you follow the seven tips above, you should be well on your way to providing a clear and quick customer experience to your kiosk users, and maximising your return on investment on your kiosks.