Where you physically place your kiosks within your facility is probably one of the most important steps in the process of deploying kiosks. Regardless of how attractive or perfect your kiosk solution is, if you place the kiosks out of site, you will struggle with user adoption. You can also read these other 5 common mistakes to avoid when deploying kiosks.
What Does Success Look Like?
Airports have been deploying kiosks longer than just about anyone. Initially, when you went into an airport there was a small bank of kiosks off to the side of the main ticketing area. Customers would be ushered over to the kiosks by greeters with the goal of getting passengers to use the kiosks. Now several generations in, the Airports and the Airlines themselves have gotten much smarter with placement. Today, when you walk into an airport, the banks of kiosks are placed in front of the service counters typically, in a pattern that still allows passengers to see the counter should they need it, or to drop bags.
Knowledge comes with experience and we’ve learned the most strategic locations for kiosk placement:
- Front and Center—in front of the current service area
- Next to the current service area or box office
- On the Counter
- Sides of the room
Front and Center
With thousands of successful kiosk deployments, the best way to gain user adoption is to place the kiosks Front and Center, so users see them immediately upon entering the facility.
If it’s a newly designed facility, it’s been designed to place the kiosks front and center.
The primary purpose of self-service kiosks is convenience, but if the kiosk isn’t placed in a convenient location, you defeat the purpose.
Next to Current Service Area or Box Office
If the kiosks can’t be placed directly in front of the current service area, hopefully they can be placed immediately next to it or on the counter in current service area. In this case, think about ‘aiming’ the kiosk towards the path the user will travel from. This might mean placing the kiosk at a 30 or 40 degree angle away from the wall to point towards an entry door.
On the Counter
If you place the kiosks on the counter of the current service area, users will see them as they’ve been trained to go to this area first. It might mean allocating much more of this service area to kiosks, but that makes sense given the preference is for people to self-serve.
Sides of the Room
In some cases, there just isn’t another option so the kiosks have to be placed along the side of the room or to the left or right of the counters. If this is the case, it is recommended that more be done to promote the kiosks in that space. Maybe you add overhead LCD screens that promote the presence and availability of the kiosks.
Alcoves that the kiosks sit within that have overhead signage are not only attractive, but they also turn the kiosks into a destination unto itself. Stanchions and lines on the floor that create queues for the kiosks also signal that the kiosks are available and intended for the many, not the few. Again, the goal is to ensure that when a user enters the area, they look for the registration desk or box office and if the kiosks cannot be seen immediately before that desk, users will likely miss the kiosk all together.
User Flow and Visibility
Self-service kiosks should be placed in a physical path or location that interrupts the guest flow. This kind of physical interruption is what is necessary to change the behavior from going to the box office or registration desk to the kiosk.
Here’s an example to demonstrate this point. If your favorite restaurant has a shortage of parking spaces and requires 20 minutes to look for parking, you are probably going to leave and find a more convenient option, no matter how much you may love the food. After a few instances of parking lot frustration, you probably will stop even considering that restaurant as an option. The same can be true of kiosks. If a kiosk is placed in an out-of-the-way location or consistently has long lines, then consumers will naturally look for a more convenient option—the traditional registration desk or box office. You want to ensure that your kiosk deployment reduces focus on the registration desk or the box office and provides a more convenient option.
What About Power and Data?
Once organizations have decided to go down the path of deploying kiosks, they often assume that it’s easiest to place the kiosks where they currently have power and data. While placing a kiosk close to an exit, entrance, or outlet may seem obvious, it’s better to take a step back and determine how a kiosk can serve your customer best at each considered location.
Unfortunately, in many cases that means the kiosks would be off to the side and not in the normal physical path. And that would mean the user has to go looking for it.
If you’re making the investment in kiosks, you will likely also need to make the investment in routing power and data in new locations to create the best user experience and the one that will ensure a high degree of usage. Here are 8 ways to increase kiosk usage and visibility.
Quantity of Kiosks
When initiating a new kiosk deployment, it is important to gather as much data as possible on current users of your services and to develop projections of estimated potential users of the new kiosk systems.
You will want to consider the highest traffic times to ensure that your deployment improves the overall user experience. Have an understanding of volumes throughout the day to ensure you avoid large and inconvenient ques throughout your facility as you select locations for the kiosks.
It also helps to leverage multiple kiosks to provide users an intuitive understanding of where to go and to drive user adoption. When someone sees multiple kiosks positioned together, they will understand that the facility is wanting to drive users to the kiosks. In some cases, it may also make sense to distribute the kiosks in a few different places throughout the facility. Some facilities have found that making a group of kiosks available just inside the parking garage provides some relief from the main check-in area.
For all users, ease of access is necessary. Users in a wheelchair or those with mobility issues will need ample room to access the kiosk without being hindered by another kiosk immediately next to it. Space is always at a premium so consider placing the kiosks back-to-back. Kiosk spacing is an important consideration for those that may be processing information where privacy is important. For example, with healthcare check-in kiosks, patients will appreciate the kiosks being a little further apart or having privacy walls or frosted glass to ensure that their health information is protected.
In bus terminals or airports, users will need a little extra space to allow for maneuvering with luggage and in retail environments, users may have shopping carts or baskets that will require space.
While there are several factors that will improve the success of your kiosk deployment, the first consideration is location. The best way to ensure your kiosk deployment provides maximum benefit to your organization is to work with an experienced kiosk vendor who can recommend the best options. If you’d like to discuss your kiosk options, contact us now.