In part 1, we talked about why it’s worth it to make your kiosks accessible and usable. Today, we’re going to discuss how to make your kiosks accessible.
Elements of Kiosk Accessibility
- Know what you want your kiosk to do
- In Part 1, we wrote that usability is about whether people can complete the task they need to complete. Before you can make something usable, you have to know what the task is. Is your kiosk meant to help people pick up online orders? Allow people to order food? Send people’s information to a doctor before an appointment?
- Include your accessibility team
- It’s important to include your accessibility team at the beginning of the project because, once the hardware is decided, it is much more difficult to make a case for why accessibility should be considered because, at that point, it’s a cost that was not included in the initial project. Involving your accessibility team from the get-go will make sure that accessibility is built into the project from moment one.
- Management and staff buy-in
- Management has to be invested in the project, or else it will never get very far. It’s also important for your staff to know that a kiosk is coming. Otherwise, they might assume that a kiosk will cause them trouble. Making sure your staff knows that the new kiosk is not interfering with their particular job and will instead make their job functions better is key to staff buy-in.
- Decide how you will measure ROI
- Return on Investment is often measured in money saved or gained. For example, if we think about that kiosk at the sandwich shop from the opening paragraph, that kiosk’s ROI will be measured in dollars. But for the kiosk that helps check in at an eye appointment, the goal is instead to save time and so, your ROI isn’t going to be more time-driven than dollar-driven.
- Vet your kiosk manufacturers for accessibility
- Many manufacturers only think of accessibility in terms of whether someone who uses a wheelchair can access the kiosk. This is a key part of accessibility but not the totality of accessibility. It can be worth it to have a third-party check if the kiosks are accessible for people with other disabilities.
- Do your software development upfront
- Will screen reader software like JAWS work with the other software on your kiosks, such as software related to a digital menu or a check-in process? Taking care of software development early on will help you make sure all your software works together and is usable. It’s also a good time to do your usability testing both internally, and with test groups made up of people with disabilities.
- Pick a good location for the kiosk
- Your kiosk has to be easy to get to. Say you put your kiosk in the corner of the lobby because that’s where the plugs are. That might not be easy to get to for a user with, for example, low vision. You might need to get a longer cord so the kiosk can be near the front doors.
- After you’ve found a good location, you need to tell people where the kiosks are. To riff on a famous quote, if you build it, they will not come to use it unless you tell them where it is. So, it’s worth it to put up signs.
- Run a pilot program
- A pilot program will help you find hidden problems with your kiosk implementation. For example, say you tried to pick an accessible location, but the location you picked was not completely accessible. If so, a pilot program will let you figure that out and change the location to a more accessible one.
TPGi is Here to Help
TPGi has worked with companies as they’ve gone through the process of creating accessible kiosks. One company TPGi has worked with is McDonald’s (read an article about the collaboration). McDonald’s new line of ordering kiosks have a Storm Audio-Nav Keypad, a headphone jack, and JAWS for Kiosk screen reader installed on the device. (Watch a video showing someone using one of these kiosks).
TPGi can help your company, too. We can help you with an accessibility design review. We can help you with kiosk accessibility retrofits. If you have a kiosk already deployed, we can help you with JAWS implementation. In short, TPGi is ready to help you with whatever you need to make your kiosk accessible.