Our example machine is an enhanced ATM that in addition to normal ATM functions offers bank-less check-cashing, money orders, wires transfers and pay-day advances.
The topmost message in this hierarchy should be the simplest and most engaging, most often the brand (if that’s important to the kiosk deployer) and/or the function of the kiosk.
These two messages can often be combined and can work well together, either as a branded descriptor such as the words “internet kiosk” in the form of a brand logo or as text associated with the company logo.
This element will be the item that engages the potential user at the longest distance (over 20’ away) and as such should be bold, large, clear and attention getting. The use of backlighting, dimensional graphics, motion and other attention getting display mechanisms is strongly recommended to add impact and attract attention. This messaging most often should be placed at the highest point possible on the kiosk and possibly designed to wrap around the unit or be seen from all directions.
If the brand has strong enough existing recognition the logo or branding element can often serve as the descriptor without any additional text (i.e. Kodak = photos). Indeed this should be the goal of all kiosk specific brands; to associate the function of the product with the branding in such a way that when the repeat user sees the logo or branding elements in the future they instantly fill in the descriptor in the their head (Kinko’s = copying). Over time users will begin to look for the branding elements and not the descriptor when searching for the service offered by the kiosk and this is right where a strong brand presence should be.
Using our financial services kiosk as an example Primary Messaging would be the bank logo or branding element with a descriptor such as “Financial Services” closely associated. Our 6' tall Backdrop Graphic is a great way to implement this on our range of iPad kiosks.
The next tier is that of informing the user of the services offered by the kiosk. This list should be easy to read from a distance of 5’-15’ feet and be SIMPLE. This the second item to engage the potential user and it should clearly communicate to someone who is glancing at the machine as they walk past two or three key functions. If the kiosk has more than three functions they should be organized into groups or categories and those groups should be listed. It is very important not to overwhelm the potential user at this point as too much text, too many options, or too much description will only leave them confused and unclear on the purpose of the device and the services it offers. Lacking clearly perceived function most potential users will just keep walking. In this case the old adage “less is more” definitely applies.
This graphical element should be positioned high enough that it can be seen over or around someone who may already be using the kiosk (indeed when you are at the kiosk using it you this text should be out of your field of vision) and it should ideally be located such that the eye naturally flows from the brand element/ primary messaging to this element.
In the case of a multi- function machine this grouping and hierarchy of services can be a difficult task. The kiosk deployer’s marketing and business units will need to be engaged in a discussion with the designer in order to determine how to rank and group these services. The designer should take into account that this graphical element may need to be changed over time as the business and marketing needs of the kiosk deployer changes or as periodical special offers are marketed.