Are touchscreens for public use dead?
It’s hard to believe that only 10 years ago, most people’s experience of a ‘touch screen’ was limited to public exhibitions or fancy showrooms. Today, however, we use them countless times a day, sometimes across multiple devices. So the question is, do interactive touchscreens have a place in the 21st Century?
Our response to that question is an emphatic yes — with a couple of caveats. Now, you’re thinking ‘of course you’d say that — it’s a core part of our business”, but, hear us out. There are three key things that must be in place first. If these three elements are all present then you can’t fail.
- Know your Audience
Sounds simple, but so often it gets overlooked. A member of the public wandering past a touchscreen in a public space hasn’t just bought your app. They haven’t Googled what they are interested in and clicked a link. Some are in the physical space because they are interested in the subject you’re offering. Some have no interest and are there with someone else. Some are experts on what you offer, others have no idea what it is they are looking at. The first job of a touchscreen is to simply engage your audience. Give them an easy starting point and an excuse to interact, whatever level they are.
- Bigger is Better
This one is remarkably simple. It must be bigger than an iPad or common tablet — people are far to used to them at home. We love using 27″ to 30″ for single user interaction. It provides a sense of scale that dwarfs what they are accustomed to and also gives them a personal space to engage with the information at their own pace.
- Appropriate Content
Is this screen doing the work that a simple and well crafted A3 poster could have done? Are we trying to fit an entire book / detailed website in there because we don’t have room for it anywhere else? Are we harnessing interaction? Are we layering the heavier content? To be honest, this is always the first point we look at. We do ramble on about it.
If the content suits and points one and two are in place, then you have the makings of an engaging interactive experience for your audience.
Obviously there is a lot more to it than this, but do you agree with our three vital points?