Monday, November 07, 2005

6 Simple Rules for Successful Self-Service Australia's magazine for information executives, is running this article about how to prevent your self-service kiosk project from becoming one of the estimated 15-20% that are doomed to fail :) The six simple rules that they outline include:
  • Provide a Benefit to Customers
  • Make Transactions Intuitive
  • Show Customers What to Do
  • Choose the Right Locations
  • Beware of Legacy Systems
  • Take a Test-Drive

Nothing revolutionary here, and it's certainly not a how-to, but the article does make some excellent points about the shortcomings of many of today's self-service projects. One thing I particularly liked was this list of things to make your kiosk pretty and easy-to-use, courtesy of Francie Mendelsohn, from Summit Research:

  • Big buttons. Small touch-screen buttons will foil large fingers.
  • Feedback. When you touch a button onscreen, it should "depress" and change colour.
  • Readability. Dark text on a light background is the most legible.
  • Consistency. Give every touch screen the same look and feel. Even slight deviations can confuse users. Speed. Have enough bandwidth so that users don't have to wait for transactions to be processed.
  • Cleanliness. Choose dark-collared kiosk cabinets to hide finger smudges, or use enclosures made of fingerprint-resistant materials.
  • Short screens. Customers prefer not to scroll. Clear directions and unambiguous choices. Remember that people are standing up. If it's confusing, they'll walk away.
  • Minimal animation. Fancy flashing lights and movement will slow down transactions and annoy customers.
  • No annoying sounds. Employees will pull the plug.

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