CETW11: How to design a kiosk consumers will use
Having an attractive, simple interface is critical when it comes to the design of a kiosk, CETW attendees learned Thursday in a session called "Creating a Kiosk They Will Use: Customer Centric Design."
Although kiosk aesthetics are very important, deploying multi-functioning kiosks with a modular design are also a must, said Marty Paris, vice president of business development, Lo-K Systems.
"It needs to be inviting; it needs to be easy to use," Paris said.
Amtrak recently underwent changes to its kiosks to make them easier to use and to also to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, Chuck Simmers, manager of automated ticketing services for Amtrak, said in the session.
"On screen, the targets are larger and the background is lighter," he said, which makes it easier for visually impaired users to see the screens.
It's also important that kiosks provide an immediate acknowledgment when a button is pressed – whether that's an audio response or making the button or screen light up.
Simmers said the redesign has increased kiosk usage. Although some people, especially older travelers, may be intimidated by the technology, they quickly see the benefit once they learn to use them.
Simmers often grabs customers waiting at long ticket lines and shows them how to use the kiosks.
"It only takes once; then they love it," he said.
There's no reason to have several kiosks that serve different purposes, Paris said, because it's possible to feature several services — price look up, games, and bridal registries — on one kiosk.
"If you're looking at rolling out a customer centric solution think about multi-functioning capability; you can do a lot of things with one footprint," Paris said.
There's nothing worse than launching kiosks and then having to take them out to add new components, Paris said, which is why retailers also need to anticipate what their customers will need in the future.
"You want your customers to determine the evolution of the kiosks because you don't know what the future needs of the customers are going to be. But if you gotta tear out the whole kiosk and put in a kiosk with peripherals, it's a major headache," Paris said.
One way to ensure that doesn't happen is to tell the kiosk vendor designing the solution that being able to add or change peripherals is a must.
"You wanna be able to go back and change things when you get that customer feedback without having to throw the kiosk out and start over," Paris said.
Read more about kiosk design.