There are many things to consider when creating a software interface for an electronic kiosk. One of the areas that needs a particularly vested interest is the interaction design of the kiosk software. Three important aspects of kiosk software interaction design are branding, speed and sound.
Branding is an important component of any kiosk user interface. If you are designing a kiosk for use in a retail location, you should take care to incorporate a brand image or logo into the interface. This can be beneficial to both the interaction experience of the user for your kiosk and also for the branding of your company.
Logo branding is most effective on screens that are not part of a task process in your software. Because of this, the best screens to show off a logo are those that are displayed when the kiosk booth is idle, and also at the beginning and end of a task. For instance when the user first interacts with the kiosk, it should show a brand image along with a list of tasks. Another opportunity comes when the user has finished a task with the kiosk, a completion screen accompanied by the brand can have a great impact.
The speed of software for a kiosk is something that should be taken into account when considering the interaction experience of a kiosk user. You want to make sure that they do not get held up between screens of a particular task or you may risk losing the user’s interest in completing a task sequence. An example of this would be at a bookstore catalogue kiosk. If a user is searching for a particular author name, they will expect the search results display within a few seconds.
Before considering the use of sound in the interface for an electronic kiosk, there are a few things to consider. First, how will the location of the kiosk be affected by additional noise from the emplaced unit? Certain locations, especially in retail, are not fit additional noise from a machine.
If a particular unit is to be placed in an area tolerant of some additional noise, such as a large airport terminal, you must consider which particular actions are best suited for sound feedback from the kiosk. For instance, should the machine give a warning sound if the user attempts to enter invalid input? Studies show that a visual indication of error is sufficient indication of a mistake. Instead consider using a positive sound to reinforce task completion or correct data entry from the user. Adding credits, completing an order or successfully creating a print out are all candidates for positive reinforcement.
Branding, speed and sound are all important items for consideration in the design and placement of any electronic kiosk. By paying attention to the particular needs of users and current research about user interface, you can ensure the interaction between users and your kiosk’s software is successful.
Tom Samus is a retired legal clerk and writer for a retail information site [http://www.go-shop.info]. He also writes articles for the electronic kiosk information [http://www.interactive-information-kiosk] site Interactive Informational Kiosks. He is a father of two children and husband of Clara Parks.