We are not always going to design experiences and interfaces for desktop or mobile apps, there is an area where we often ignore the POS and electronic kiosks market, that serve many companies in the aeronautical sector, social events, carnivals, etc. There are kiosks that only serve as validators (they do not issue something in physical format), others serve to sell tickets (paper format), others sell RFID Cards with “digital tickets” (A plastic card with tokens RIFD Technology). The purpose may vary, we have check-in kiosks at airports, kiosks to sell movie tickets, self-service kiosks in fast food restaurants, and so on.
With RFID technology, things have changed a lot and there are startups that offer tailor-made solutions for clients who want to take the leap and dematerialize the sales Ticket process, for the entertainment events they offer. With this technology, it is possible to issue a card with tokens to carry out trading activities within the event through validators or individual payment modules.
I had the chance to work on a project of this nature and in this opportunity I could give some important tips for anyone who is facing the challenge of designing a solution in a market that seems to be almost “hidden” or with little information on the network about study cases.
In my case, I worked on the design of a RFID Ticket Kiosk for the United States market, that provides an access control and food consumption service to a company dedicated to entertainment. Many of these organizations remain in a traditional scheme in the sale of physical tickets. In general, there are organizations carry out large influx events and require taking the step in the customer experience by automating the sale of tickets or any other currency or service.
The Main Challenge: avoiding getting lost from a Product Design perspective.
Correct value proposition?
This is something that we must ensure with the client before approaching any solution, whatever the research toolkit and UX strategy we use, it is necessary to understand what problem our client is trying to solve through a solution that automates and dematerilizes its Tickets sales process (or orders, any currency, service etc).
User, Context and Bussines!
What are the users or people who use this solution? Average age, general interest when attending the event is a question, do they come as a family? come alone? do we have this data? It is essential to know the user, the context in which they would use the solution and the business in which we are located (what is offered).
It is also necessary to understand that depending on the region there are certain things change, for example the payment processes may vary, the design of receipts too, the payment gateways must be integrated depending on the location. In the US we can can see variations with respect to Europe and Asia, so we must be clear on this.
Mapping the experience to get clear ideas and references
Map the flow of use within the event, take into consideration the hardware and system operation, how does it work? Will there be RFID card validators for example?
How will the people influx be? what is the cadence of sale? speed is important?
This point is related to how fast the kiosk is dispensing cards or items used at event? If you are at a fair it will probably be somewhat congested having several peak hours during the day which will get the most out of the machine.
Kiosk hardware, key to performance
The UX is not just about having a smooth user journey without any complications, it also encompasses all the performance of the solution and how fast and accurate it is, if we have a slow machine or a bad Kiosk Case with good flows, we will probably have a contaminated UX with negative feedback from end user , also our key success metrics could go wrong, here some tips:
- What technology is it? you should be related to the engineers to be clear about the technology, is it android based? is it a common operating system with an interface in React Native? Maybe Angular ?, Each technology has its areas of opportunity to offer a better UX.
- How are the components arranged? How fast is the receipt printer? Or the card dispenser? Where are they located? to the right of the user, to the left but at the bottom? Does it have light signals to indicate that something is coming out of the slots? This will be highly dependent on the provider that builds the Kiosk case, which is usually a third party, try to get envolve on this topic.
- How do the machines communicate in case of failure: On the operational side, how does the machine behave if it runs out of paper for the receipt? or without RFID cards? Do you contemplate alert panels for staff to see? Is a signal emitted with an API where it is reflected on a website where we can check them?
- How do you design the interface? Would you have custom themes for each customer? or are we talking about a generic interface & styles for everyone? do you need a Design System for this product?.
Taking these factors and questions into consideration, you will have more visibility and control over the design process of a totally new solution and solving a problem about which little information is available on the web.