Touch4 Touch Screen Kiosks FAQ's
We'd like to kick this section off by talking about Kiosk UI (User Interface) Software. Our new blog (due mid '09) will go into more depth and invite comment/debate.
Q. I want to use my (or a) web site on my touch screen, can I!?
A. Perfectly fair request and absolutely possible but wait - have you thought about the user interface for the people using it?
Most web sites are not suitable for using on a touch screen interface if there is no keyboard or roller mouse present but even then you need to be wary about your target audience they are not the easiest thing to use for no-web-savvy users (ever tried to drag a scroll bar with a roller mouse with a separate button?). If you are going to do it then at least make sure the content is viewable without scrolling on a kiosk ... it's cardinal sin 1, even for some web sites.
If you want to use a 'live' web site (or web technologies connected directly to the server - by ADSL for example) then make sure it's got appropriately sized buttons, the correct resolution, correct size text in the right contrasting colours, etc. etc.
Q. So, what does Touch4 recommend?
A. Glad you asked ... we recommend that you build the interface locally (you can use HTML, Flash, .Net, VB, Director, etc. using XML locally for database) and connect to the server only when there is an update required and of course if there is a call to action to upload to distribute.
If you can't afford this or don't want to do it for the the potential in maintaining two sites (or you are at pilot stage on a project) then create a version of the web site, using the same data that is usable for touch screen / kiosk users and take our advice (given freely to those buying our hardware).
Q. So, why create a whole new version to sit on a kiosk - ADSL is pretty good these days - isn't it?
A. Yes, it is but it's not infallible and is certainly not as user friendly unless you cache it all locally and even then you could have problems getting your updates through. However there is another point against a 'web site on a kiosk or touch screen' ... that is the slug effect.
Ok, the slug effect is when you click on a button, it might react or it might 'click' but it won't provide the information requested as instantly as having something local and there's something else we have learned ... the kiosk user is even more lazy than the web user, they hate waiting and will give you a small window of opportunity to so even if you have a 'wait state' then you can still count on a bit of frustration!
Got more questions? For more information call Mark at the office (or fill in the enquiry form) for advice about your project and we'll even recommend the appropriate touch screen hardware for the requirement.