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Main Considerations for Kiosk Development

by Svitla Team

June 23, 2014
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Today a large part of online payments is performed via self-service kiosks installed in banks, supermarkets, airports, gas stations and other places where people can pay for services easy and fast. Kiosks are an excellent tool for businesses to interact with non-tech customers in an electronic way. By means of kiosks company can facilitate the process of paying by customers for goods and services they order and increase customer satisfaction.

Installing the kiosks becomes increasingly popular in such spheres as retail, hospitality, banking, gambling, healthcare and others, however the organizations that want to implement kiosks as a payment method can face many difficult decisions about the kiosk design, components, placement and integration.

There is no best solution fitting all projects, but there are best practices to help guide your design and deployment decisions to provide maximum customer convenience and value. Any self-service kiosk project can be divided into three major components needed to be well thought-out: the hardware, the user application, and the kiosk system software.

Hardware for Kiosks

The hardware is not only the kiosk itself, but also any peripheral device used to enhance the kiosk’s functions. Peripherals attached to a kiosk, such as cash dispensers, touchscreens, thermal printers, barcode scanners, smart cards readers, security mats, keyboards, biometric scanners, GPRS modems, cameras, and displays help customers carry out their transactions quickly and easily. These peripherals must be configured either into the application or kiosk system software in order to understand the commands sent from the central unit and give the expected output, and should also be integrated into the enclosure for aesthetics and security. For example, printers that print sensitive information should be locked, secured, and enclosed within the kiosk.

User Interface Design for Kiosks

In the development of the user application for payment kiosks, one of the dominant roles belongs to the visual interface design as errors in design and interface difficult for visual perception may deter clients. Despite of the purpose of your kiosk application, it’s interface should be short, simple and easy to navigate, so that any operation could be done in minutes. The design should be attractive while very intuitive and straightforward. Creating the user interface, you should keep in mind the peculiarities of the kiosks with touch-screens where links and buttons should be large enough for a human finger to touch. The type of kiosk and all its peripherals should be accentuated in requirements to the project.

Kiosk Software

The brain of any payment kiosk is it’s software. The kiosk’s software performs the function of organizer of the communication among all components to provide smooth, accurate, and secure operations. Security is critical in all financial transactions such as banking and ticketing. Kiosk software prevents the kiosks misuse that can be done unintentionally or on purpose by users, allowing users access only to the application and preventing access to the desktop, file system and URLs not applicable to the kiosk function. For instance, if there is keyboard, the kiosk software should disable all problematic specialty keys such as ctrl+alt+del.

In addition to kiosk security, kiosk software can offer remote monitoring features to manage multiple kiosks from a central location. Remote management is a standard feature in all our kiosks that allows your administrators fix kiosks from anywhere. Remote monitoring includes numerous administrative tasks, such as receiving a daily update of the kiosk activity, content upgrades, shut-down and power-up, sending pop-ups to the user, touchscreen calibration, getting usage statistics and email or text alerts when there is kiosk error. With the kiosk statistics metrics, it is possible to measure the performance and ROI of the kiosk.

Testing

Like in development of any other software, kiosks systems should be carefully tested before being pushed to production. Special attention should be devoted to usability, as getting an error once the customer will never come back to your kiosk.

A kiosk is your representative to your customers. All kiosks should be constantly monitored for application and network usage, system temperatures and voltages, overload, component failure, etc.

The entire user experience can be tailored as per your needs. Computing features such as right clicks that are commonly found in desktops but useless in kiosks should be disabled. Kiosks should perform its principal function – provide quick and easy way of payment or giving information. This understanding should go through all the steps of your project from requirement creation to user acceptance testing.

by Svitla Team
June 23, 2014

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