What if you could introduce a solution in your business that increased your average consumer purchase by 30%? One such solution is an interactive kiosk. A recent study found that consumers spend 30 percent more when they order through self-service kiosks. Other benefits include enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced costs and branding opportunities.
With all these benefits, it’s not surprising that this market is expected to reach a value of nearly $50 billion by the end of 2031.
How are interactive kiosks used?
Interactive kiosks have rapidly become an essential component of modern convenience and smart cities. They are used to enable access to information and applications for communication, commerce and even entertainment. Some examples of kiosk applications include:
- Food service menu access and ordering
- Check-in services for travel, hospitality, healthcare and more.
- Check-out services at grocery, convenience and other retail stores.
- Vending machines
- Retail kiosks for in-store product catalog display, customer service, ordering, and bill payment
- Photo services
- Car wash selection
- Payment stations
- Ticket stations
- Informational and wayfinding solutions (indoor and outdoor)
- Casino gaming
The list could actually go on and on. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, kiosks have become even more common as an alternative to direct face-to-face interaction.
Creating an interactive kiosk
While they are increasingly common and essential, an effective digital kiosk requires a lot of thought and attention to detail. Many assume that they are just a computer connected to a screen and some sort of interface – how hard can that be? It turns out there is a lot that goes into the design of an effective interactive kiosk.
Broadly speaking, creating a kiosk can be broken down into five main elements:
- Design Aesthetics
- Installation Considerations
- User Interface
Perhaps the most obvious of the three, aesthetics refers to the physical design of the kiosk. There are as many options for kiosk design as there are architectural options for building. They can range from the utilitarian to the elegant. There are some even serving as part of an art installation.
The aesthetic design covers the physical materials, shape, and even the graphics employed on the exterior of the kiosk. It should be appealing and eye-catching to the target audience. A key element to the success of a kiosk is users knowing it’s there. That said, environmental and/or use case considerations can also have an impact on design.
An outdoor digital kiosk will need weather-proofing, water resistance, and possibly resistance to corrosion or even vandalism. This may restrict the use of certain materials or design flourishes.
An installation in a more controlled environment won’t have the same limitations. Whatever the case, the look and approachability of a kiosk is the number one deciding factor of whether or not a customer will choose to use it.
User interface (UI)
Once the customer has seen the kiosk, next they’ll have to operate it. Ensuring that the system is user friendly and designed with accessibility in mind is paramount. This includes everything from the look and feel of the software employed, to the physical interface.
User Experience, or UX as it is more commonly known, is a discipline in itself, an intersection between design, psychology, and workflow efficiency. It broadly covers all the various elements of a user’s interaction with the device.
Will the customer engage with it via keypad? Voice prompt? Interactive touch? If creating a touch screen kiosk, might the user be wearing gloves? Installing a kiosk at a ski resort in Vermont may have different requirements than a theme park in Florida.
A factor driving the choice in the hardware used to power the application is also performance. Is the computer powerful enough to drive the application smoothly, without stuttering or lag? An underperforming system or poorly optimized software application can lead to false inputs, missed inputs, and customer frustration. For a device centered around convenience and accessibility, this has to be avoided.
System reliability is paramount. If your computer freezes or crashes in your office or at home – it’s not such a big deal. You can simply reboot it and move on. This ease of recovery may not be as simple with a kiosk.
A kiosk going down can mean lost revenue, negative impact to brand reputation, or additional expense if a technician needs to be dispatched to restore it at a remote location. Specialized hardware that delivers reliability is critical. And for outdoor installations, the effects of heat, cold, and moisture should be considered.
OnLogic’s portfolio of industrial and rugged PCs are designed to operate 24/7 with minimal maintenance, and offer remote manageability options to allow remote maintenance in the event that a crash does occur. Innovative, fanless designs keep our systems cool while protecting them from dust or other airborne particulate, and the use of fully solid state components where possible reduces potential failure points.
For years, OnLogic has helped customers across the globe get the right hardware for their kiosk needs, so they can focus on the differentiating features, software, and design to appeal to their users. If you need a reliable kiosk solution, explore our reliable systems and contact our solution specialists today.