Better Kiosks through Intelligent Design













There’s more to designing a kiosk than throwing a computer in a box. Learn how form, function and forethought is used to make a kiosk irresistible to customers.

Hundreds of thousands of new Kiosks are being deployed each year in various industries. From retail, to hospitality and healthcare are just a few markets that have benefited from kiosk deployment.

With the advances and innovations in kiosk technology, organizations may face difficult decisions about the kiosk design, components, placement and integration. This infographic will outline the fundamental requirements for proper kiosk placement.

The Century of Design

When designing a kiosk, a multitude of issues revolving around hardware configurations and installation locations must be considered, as well as the overall functionality.

The design process involves understanding forming raw materials like sheet metal and wood into attractive enclosures ready for technological integration.

Did You Know?

Kiosk design goes beyond merely answering the question “Does it work?” It goes into questions that are much harder to answer, like “How do I want the customer to feel when using the device?”

The Five Steps of Project Planning

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. The journey to build and deploy your self-service kiosk project begins with five steps.

1. What is the application?
2. Where will it be located?
3. What is the form factor?
4. What type of hardware is needed?
5. What software will drive it?

Reliability and ease of use are essential for any kiosk application. Regardless of how kiosks are used or the goals for deploying them, if kiosks don’t serve customers consistently and conveniently, they won’t deliver benefits.

1. What is the Application?

This may seem so obvious as to be self evident, but surprisingly, companies often get their projects started on an entirely wrong foot by losing focus on the biggest picture of all: what, exactly, the machine is supposed to do.

A good rule of thumb: The purpose and intent of a kiosk program should be able to be summarized in one brief sentence.

Businesses usually have limited or no opportunity to train their customers on kiosks, so applications must be as intuitive as possible, and help should also be quickly available either via on-screen instructions or a nearby employee.

2. Where Will it Be Located?

This is territory so familiar it rises to the form of cliché: It is impossible to discuss this concept without referring to the old real estate adage about location.

But sometimes, things become clichés because they are so utterly true. Selecting placement for a kiosk program is one of the most important things a business will do.

Placement is key for product information kiosks they should be situated near where the product is displayed, so customers can easily get the product after learning about it on the kiosk.

3. What is the Form Factor?

Selecting the right form factor involves taking existing fixtures into account, and developing a look and size that is an extension of what already is in the store.

Keep in mind that size and price aren’t always related. In much the same way that laptop computers are more expensive than desktops, mini-kiosks can be pricier than floor-standing models, since internal components have to be smaller

Kiosks deployed to deliver coupons or other promotions to customers should be positioned near the front of the store or the promoted department to maximize utilization. Including a reader for loyalty cards provides a way to capture demographic information about who is using the kiosk.

4. What Type of Hardware is Needed?

The kiosk machine is going to take abuse over the course of its life. This is not to say customers will abuse the machines intentionally although some of them will only that being a technology device in a public space is physically demanding.

When studying hardware options, look closely at the peripherals that get the most wear and tear.

Ease of integration is key for self-checkout kiosks, which must interface with POS systems and peripheral devices such as barcode scanners and scales. The receipt printer is also a key component consideration. Printers with large media capacities provide more uptime because receipt media needs to be reloaded less often.

5. What Software Will Drive It?

Finally, once the machines are purchased and their places within the store environment have been chosen, it is time to power them up. But what software will drive the kiosks?

Options are plentiful here, and range from off-the-shelf packages that allow drag and-drop interface creation to bare-bones open-source tools that intrepid deployers can use to build an application from the ground up.

Kiosk design must incorporate both physical and data security. Kiosk components and supplies can be secured through locking cabinets and the construction of the kiosk itself.

Kiosks have been proven to be highly effective for improving customer satisfaction, creating competitive differentiation and reducing operating costs, but these benefits are not universally shared. To have a chance of  being successful, kiosks must be highly reliable and easy to use. If these criteria are met, the degree of success depends on application design, kiosk placement, training and promotion, plus the quality of the customer-facing experience and internal kiosk components.

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