How to Create a Best-in-Class Interactive Kiosk User Experience: Part Two

Last week, we began a discussion around interactive kiosk usability, because although they are experiencing massive growth across multiple industries, there are still plenty of kiosk programs that ultimately fail. And those failures are generally related to poor UX. As we said previously, there are some key factors that are universal to designing a best-in-class experience for end users. This week, we continue to expand upon our list of considerations for creating self-service kiosk usability that translates into successful deployment in the field.

     4. 99% of the time, the goal of a self-serve kiosk is to eliminate the need for human assistance with the transaction — so you absolutely must ensure that this is true in the kiosk’s real-world use environment. Let me say it one more time: Make it almost impossible that a human will be required to assist a user with a self-service kiosk. There is an entire generation out there that prefers their interactions with other humans to be kept to a minimum, at least when it comes to transactional operations. If it turns out they still need to find someone to help them, they will most likely cancel the transaction rather than seeking help, and just never use that kiosk again. They are at the same time quite likely to let the world know about their dissatisfaction via every social media platform available to them and to possibly anybody else who will listen to them.

     5. Kiosk capabilities should be immediately and abundantly clear. At the very least, everything the kiosk can do should be listed on the start or home screen. Depending on the use case, it could also mean that these capabilities are also listed on custom enclosure wraps on the unit itself. Users do not want to guess about what transactions are possible and if you make them, they won’t bother giving your kiosk a backward glance as they walk away to the first available manned customer service counter or cashier.

     6. The kiosk’s interface should be intuitive, linear and uncomplicated — these are crucial considerations when developing the underlying software. No matter how complex the transaction may be, kiosks absolutely must not give the outward appearance of being difficult or requiring assistance to use. Operations must be linear; directions crystal clear, including illustrations whenever possible; and all written language incorporated easy to understand at any reading level.

Check back next week for our final kiosk UX blog installment. In the meantime, if your business is ready to enter the brave new world of interactive kiosks now, RedyRef, an end-to-end manufacturer of vertically integrated kiosk solutions, works with companies of all sizes to ensure the success of their self-service kiosk programs. Submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today for more information.

How to Create a Best-in-Class Interactive Kiosk User Experience

There is no denying that interactive kiosks are not just here to stay, but experiencing massive growth across a number of different industries, from healthcare to food service environments. On the other hand, many kiosk projects, as well-intended as they may be, often suffer from a great deal of criticism, ultimately resulting in a very expensive program failure.

So if some interactive kiosk deployments are massively successful and others a total loss — what makes the great ones, well…great? The answer is usability. Usability that is built not just into the physical kiosk to make it universally accessible, but usability as it relates to the software that powers the kiosks and is what experts call “user experience.”
What are the key factors in creating best-in-class interactive kiosk UX with which real, live humans actually want to engage? While it will to some extent depend on how and where the kiosk will be used, there are some commonalities that apply to just about any situation.
  1. If you want consumers to actually use the kiosk, locate it well within the sightlines of the average person. This may seem obvious, but many a kiosk has been horribly misplaced. Understand the traffic flow of the environment in which it will be used, and plan accordingly. This information will ultimately affect not just placement, but also the kiosk’s form factor and software — something we’ll get to later on in these recommendations.
  2. You can make predictions all you’d like about what people want out of a self-service kiosk interaction, but what you really need is information, and lots of it. It’s time to get your hands dirty. Figuratively anyway. Get out there and observe. Ask actual users real questions. Take note of their frustrations. Buy research if you have to; there is plenty out there to be had. But understand that if you do not truly understand what people want from your kiosk, you will never be able to deliver a world-class user experience, because it all depends on them — the people who will be using it everyday. Period. All the cool whiteboard ideas in the world don’t matter if you can’t consistently delight your end user in the real world.
  3. Make sure that your kiosk solves problems rather than creating them. People use kiosks in order to save time or optimize efficiency in some way. If a kiosk regularly frustrates consumers due to any number of reasons — latency, poor functionality, an unattractive or confusing interface, system errors — they aren’t likely to come back. And worse? In today’s digital age of omnipresent social media, there’s a good chance that any failures, especially if experienced by Millennials who are the primary target for most self-service kiosks — will be reported upon to the general public with great speed. There are exactly zero brands that need that kind of negative publicity.
Check back next week for more ways to create the best possible user experience via interactive kiosk deployments. In the meantime, if your business is ready to enter the brave new world of touchscreen kiosks now, RedyRef, an end-to-end manufacturer of vertically integrated kiosk solutions, works with companies of all sizes to ensure the success of their self-service kiosk programs. Submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today for more information.

Interactive Kiosk News


Global Interactive Kiosks Market Research Released

Markets and Markets released a report this week detailing information about the global interactive kiosks market. According to the paper, the market is expected to reach $73.35 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 9.2% from 2015 through 2020. This is a massive increase, given that the 2014 total was at only 60% of that number or $44.17B. M&M’s projection is based on the trend of decreasing kiosks costs and the public’s overall demand for greater customization and interactivity when purchasing goods and services, as well as shorter wait times standing in line.

Other interesting bullet points include:

  • Healthcare is expected to have the highest rate of growth in the interactive kiosk category, stemming from expansions in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and hospital management kiosks
  • North America holds the highest market share for the use and deployment of interactive kiosks
  • The largest geographic area of expected growth for interactive kiosks is Asia Pacific, with Europe coming in second

American Girl Announces Store of the Future, Features Interactive Kiosks

American Girl will shutter its Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City in fall of 2017 and reopen in Rockefeller Center with a “store of the future” concept. A pioneer in interactive retail, with this move, AG clearly intends to stay on top. The new store will feature “customization and personalization” in the form of interactive experiences for including the ability to customize clothes, accessories and for the first time, a salon that is for both the girls and their AG dolls.

Interactive media will also play an important role at the store, with plans for stop-motion workshops, cooking and yoga classes, and the addition of interactive kiosks to help users navigate the massive space, as well as book appointments for the various experiences on offer, from tea times to workshops.

Kansas City Commuters Play Kiosk Solitaire

Kansas City recently rolled out interactive kiosks along their streetcar line. Unfortunately, they became a little too interactive not long after deployment. Commuters found they were able to play solitaire on the kiosk — something it was definitely not designed to do. It turns out the users had gained access to a standard Ubuntu desktop by figuring out they could “swipe” the streetcar information away with the palm of their hand. The director of communications for the city has since said there was “never any security risk” and the system wasn’t hacked, and that a system update was at the root of the problem.

Is your business ready to enter the brave new world of interactive kiosks? RedyRef, an end-to-end manufacturer of vertically integrated kiosk solutions, works with companies of all sizes navigate the complexities of interactive kiosk deployment. Submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today for more information.

How the EMV Liability Switch is Affecting Food Service…So Far (Part 2)

The EMV liability switch has caused concerns for foodservice professionals and operators on several different levels. Last week, we talked about how chip readers (and the inherent delays they can cause) affect overall customer satisfaction. This week, decided to focus more on some of the operational issues that have surfaced over the last six months.

Interactive kiosks are not new to the foodservice industry, but right now, they appear to be having their moment in the sun, so to speak. With restaurants like McDonald’s, Applebee’s, Taco Bell and Panera all rolling out some version of a self-service kiosk over the last couple of years, all eyes are on them as the industry wonders if they’ll be a big hit, complete miss or fall somewhere in between.

One very positive aspect of utilizing self-service kiosks in food service environments is the lower cost of implementing the new chip-based (non-PIN) EMV systems in these types of environments. Because — for better or for worse, depending on who you ask — U.S.-based companies are not required to integrate PIN-entry devices (PEDs) into their EMV chip readers, it makes it much less expensive to deploy them.

In truth, putting chip and pin-based EMV readers into fast food and quick service restaurants is a little like gilding the lily for the most part, anyway. These aren’t high-dollar transactions. The average order at most quick service restaurants like Burger King or Arby’s is only around $5 — not exactly the most-attractive target for those hoping to commit credit card fraud. These lower-dollar transactions add up to a smaller necessary investment when it comes to the type of EMV reader required.

We spoke with Rob Chilcoat, president of North American operations for Unattended Card Payments, Inc. (UCP), and an expert in EMV technology, to learn more. “If the client doesn’t have an expectation of accepting PIN debit, SNAP, or EBT,” he said, “then you can use a much less costly device such as the OTI Trio which doesn’t have all the security bells and whistles that come along with an unattended PED.” Based on current pricing, this can amount to a savings of as much as $1000 per reader, compared to the other more high-profile brands.

“Really, using a PED is more relevant in high-tech vending situations, selling iPads, for example, where you want to take that extra step to verify a customer’s identity using a CVM (cardholder verification method),” he added. “An unattended kiosk where a thief can use a stolen credit card to purchase high-value goods that can be fenced for cash are most at risk, because no CVM means anyone can use a stolen credit card there.”

While the EMV liability switch has certainly caused its fair share of headaches to QSR outlets, at least the additional pain of high-priced chip-and-pin readers has been kept at bay. For now, anyway.

RedyRef, a provider of vertically integrated kiosk solutions, is helping food service companies of all sizes navigate the complexities of the liability shift. Looking for assistance? Submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today for more information.